shod·​dy | \ ˈshä-dē How to pronounce shoddy (audio) \

Definition of shoddy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a reclaimed wool from materials that are not felted that is of better quality and longer staple than mungo
b : a fabric often of inferior quality manufactured wholly or partly from reclaimed wool
2a : inferior, imitative, or pretentious articles or matter
b : pretentious vulgarity


shoddier; shoddiest

Definition of shoddy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made wholly or partly of shoddy
2a : cheaply imitative : vulgarly pretentious shoddy merchandise
b : hastily or poorly done : inferior shoddy workmanship
c : shabby, disreputable shoddy business deals

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Other Words from shoddy


shoddily \ ˈshä-​də-​lē How to pronounce shoddily (audio) \ adverb
shoddiness \ ˈshä-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce shoddiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of shoddy in a Sentence


They gave a shoddy performance. shoddy merchandise that soon fell to pieces

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Recycled pop bottles are made into carpets and seat linings, and cotton shoddy—used to make blue jeans—is recycled and turned into sound insulation. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "What the Road Trip Looks Like in 2030," 20 July 2018 That never quite offset his shoddy blocking, unfortunately, which cost him playing time last season. Andy Benoit,, "True NFL Draft Grades: 2014 Draft, Four Years Later," 8 May 2018 Coby Fleener is too unreliable as a receiver to offset his shoddy blocking. Andy Benoit,, "NFL Draft Needs: All 32 Teams," 25 Apr. 2018 Only traditional organic feeds such as the shoddy are allowed Craig Ballinger, Slate Magazine, "The Dark State of British Rhubarb," 20 Mar. 2017 In her motion for exoneration, filed in Wyandotte County District Court in June 2016, Pilate laid out a story of false arrest, conviction and imprisonment involving a shoddy and corrupted police investigation as well as prosecutorial misconduct. Eric Adler,, "Falsely imprisoned for 23 years? Court to hear evidence on freeing Lamonte McIntyre," 26 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The lethal blast was caused by a combination of PG&E’s flawed record keeping and shoddy maintenance, along with lazy and ineffective oversight by the state Public Utilities Commission, federal investigators determined in 2011. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "PG&E files $17.9 billion bankruptcy exit plan that caps payments to wildfire victims," 9 Sep. 2019 Matt Swanson accused Sheriff's Office command staff of brushing off his complaints about the shoddy performance of Detective Jeff Green., "Sheriff puts foot down on follow-up audit in fallout over Clackamas County detective’s misconduct," 20 June 2019 The Braves have received shoddy performances from Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman, both of whom were expected to anchor the rotation. Andy Mccullough,, "Braves sign starter Dallas Keuchel to a one-year deal," 6 June 2019 For India, whose shoddy infrastructure and notorious red tape have long put off investors, English offers a rare competitive advantage over China. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "For India, English Is a Cure, Not a Sickness," 20 Sep. 2018 More telling than Pittsburgh’s simplistic gameplan and shoddy execution was Seattle’s approach. Andy Benoit,, "Mason Rudolph Has the Tools, But Does He Have the Finesse?," 17 Sep. 2019 Funeral homes in Oregon rarely attract publicity for shoddy operations. oregonlive, "State inspections of funeral homes fall short in Oregon," 15 Sep. 2019 And courts must not let the government get away with speculation or shoddy data — or no data at all. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Heller’s Precarious Situation," 12 Sep. 2019 The software industry uses licensing agreements to try to exempt itself from the sort of liability that attaches to firms that ship shoddy goods. The Economist, "A connected world will be a playground for hackers," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shoddy.' 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 shoddy


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shoddy


origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near shoddy

shock wave







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Time Traveler for shoddy

The first known use of shoddy was in 1832

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More Definitions for shoddy



English Language Learners Definition of shoddy

: poorly done or made


shod·​dy | \ ˈshä-dē How to pronounce shoddy (audio) \
shoddier; shoddiest

Kids Definition of shoddy

: poorly done or made shoddy work

Other Words from shoddy

shoddiness \ ˈshä-​dē-​nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on shoddy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shoddy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shoddy

Spanish Central: Translation of shoddy

Nglish: Translation of shoddy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shoddy for Arabic Speakers

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