shin·​dig | \ ˈshin-ˌdig How to pronounce shindig (audio) \

Definition of shindig

1a : a social gathering with dancing
b : a usually large or lavish party

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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 After canceling the 2020 iteration of its yearly developer shindig because of the pandemic, Google is bringing IO back for 2021. Michael Calore, Wired, 17 May 2021 Their presence and an annual shindig at their home every August to help introduce incoming freshmen to their older teammates signified a familial touch often lacking in the world of college sports, the sisters said. Edward Lee,, 7 May 2021 The confidential meeting of the lovers in the tussle of bodies at the Capulet shindig, the hesitant first touch of their fingers and, later, the urgent consummation — none of this is surprising. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2021 The first day of the Janesville shindig will feature event registration and social events for club members only. Greg Little Janesville (wis.) Gazette, Star Tribune, 20 Apr. 2021 In a normal year, the Golden Globes show is the ultimate Hollywood shindig: thousands of glasses of champagne, free-wheeling acceptance speeches, backstage antics, scores of stars hobnobbing at crowded banquet tables. NBC News, 28 Feb. 2021 Tom Mountain, the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee, attended the Dec. 9 Hanukkah shindig before being rushed to the hospital three days later. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 30 Dec. 2020 The final leg of this exciting shindig has finally dropped. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, 29 Nov. 2020 Like the rest of us, Present Music couldn't invite all the usual guests to its Thanksgiving shindig this pandemic year. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of shindig

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shindig

probably alteration of shindy

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Time Traveler for shindig

Time Traveler

The first known use of shindig was in 1842

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Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shindig.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of shindig

informal : a big party

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shindig


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