shod·​dy | \ ˈshä-dē \

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 \ adverb
shoddiness \ ˈshä-​dē-​nəs \ 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

Though most smartphones come bundled with shoddy buds, 50% of those subpar sets never make it out of the box, according to tech researchers at the Diffusion Group. Jeff Slate, WSJ, "Do Bose’s New Audio Sunglasses Live Up to the Hype?," 31 Jan. 2019 Each day here, miners wearing shoddy headlamps descend 400 feet below scorching sand to grind and hammer into rock. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Thousands Flock to Remote, Lawless Sahara in Search of Gold," 16 Oct. 2018 The companies have come under fire for excessive rent hikes and fees, itchy eviction triggers, and shoddy maintenance, among other things. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "A brand new single-family neighborhood, where every unit is a rental," 10 Sep. 2018 Traffic is just a salient example of our shoddy situation. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "I Went to the Opening of Elon Musk's First Boring Company Tunnel and Here Is What I Found," 19 Dec. 2018 Yes, money knows no boundaries, but some CEOs and venture capitalists do grumble about whether a country with a shoddy human rights record should be holding the purse string in the American economy’s most vibrant, innovative sector. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "In the Tesla drama, Saudi Arabia reminds Silicon Valley of its weight," 13 Aug. 2018 Obviously, that can be easier said than done, but if shoddy sleep is a clear migraine trigger for you, focusing on this area can be well worth it. 4. Korin Miller, SELF, "Neurologists Share Exactly How They Deal With Their Migraines," 1 Aug. 2018 The Yard Goats, with help from some shoddy defense, went up 3-0 in the third after an RBI double by Yonathan Daza and a sacrifice fly by Rodgers. Staff Report,, "Rodgers Hits Another Game-Winning Homer In Yard Goats' Win," 22 May 2018 The Mets’ bullpen and shoddy defense undermined the best game of the season for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. James Wagner, New York Times, "Noah Syndergaard Shines, but Mets’ Bullpen Lets a Win Slip Away," 26 Apr. 2018

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 \
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

Comments on shoddy

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esteemed in general opinion

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