shin·​dig | \ˈshin-ˌdig \

Definition of shindig 

1a : a social gathering with dancing

b : a usually large or lavish party

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

At a glance, shindig appears to combine shin and dig, and thus might seem to suggest a painful kick to the leg-especially when you know that one of the first senses of shindig in English refers to a gathering at which people dance. It is more likely, however, that shindig is an alteration of shindy, which is itself the alteration of another word, shinny, used of a variation of hockey played with a curved stick and a ball or block of wood. It's not entirely clear how the game of shinny gave shindy its first meaning (the "social gathering with dancing" meaning that is also the original meaning of shindig), but shinny remains the most likely origin.

Examples of shindig in a Sentence

we're hosting a little shindig this weekend for some friends

Recent Examples on the Web

Getty Images The Daily Mail reports that KStew and RPatz both attended a shindig for Lily-Rose Depp at Chateau Marmont Saturday night, and the two were spotted... being there! Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "Breaking: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson Were at the Same Place at the Same Time," 5 June 2018 Halloween at home Host a holiday shindig for the neighborhood families or keep it low-key and enjoy the activities with the people living under your own roof. Mali Anderson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ideas for celebrating Halloween with kids: From the not-so-scary to the downright spooky," 16 Oct. 2017 But the mother of the bride may have been the real star of this shindig. Hilary Weaver, Vanities, "Glenn Close May Be History’s Greatest Mother of the Bride," 2 July 2018 In addition to being an excuse to have a helluva fun time, Swift’s shindigs were performance pieces in the art of image cultivation — quite deliberate ones, at that., "What It Means If Taylor Swift Skips Another Fourth Of July Party," 3 July 2018 Though if the farm's inaugural shindig is any indication, the venue makes for a rather pretty supper spot, too. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Celebrity "Chefs in the Field" cater Recipe for Success's first Sunday supper at Hope Farms," 27 June 2018 Celebrating Alaska businesses For three years, Alaska Business Monthly has been celebrating the top local businesses in Alaska with a fun, summer shindig. Anchorage Daily News, "This week in Anchorage: Incubus, Girdwood Forest Fair and beer in the Alaska Botanical Garden," 6 July 2018 The Frights also were a crowd favorite, taking the garage slop of the Black Lips and the ’90s pastiche approach of Girl Talk and making a wild shindig of it all, ripping through fragments of songs by OutKast, Shaggy, Smash Mouth and Journey. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Free Press Summer Fest branches off with In Bloom debut," 24 Mar. 2018 What’s on the grill at your Fourth of July shindig is critical — but don't neglect the contents of the ice chest. Kavita Daswani,, "Fourth of July BBQ draaaanks that won't blow your diet," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shindig.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of shindig

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shindig

probably alteration of shindy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shindig

Listen to Our Podcast about shindig

Dictionary Entries near shindig







shine ball

Statistics for shindig

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shindig

The first known use of shindig was in 1842

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shindig



English Language Learners Definition of shindig

: a big party

More from Merriam-Webster on shindig

See words that rhyme with shindig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shindig

Comments on shindig

What made you want to look up shindig? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!