skulduggery

play
noun skul·dug·gery \ˌskəl-ˈdə-g(ə-)rē, ˈskəl-ˌdə-\
variants: or

skullduggery

Definition of skulduggery

plural

skulduggeries

  1. :  underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also :  a devious device or trick

skulduggery was our Word of the Day on 08/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of skulduggery in a sentence

  1. tales of espionage and skulduggery

  2. the company's apparently healthy bottom line was merely an illusion, the result of years of accounting skulduggery

Did You Know?

Skulduggery, which can also be spelled "skullduggery," was first documented in the mid-19th century spelled as "scull-duggery." Etymologists aren't sure exactly how the word arrived in English, but they do not believe it has anything to do with skulls. It is possibly derived from the now-very-rare "sculduddery," a term once used to refer to gross or lewd conduct, but unfortunately the origins of that word are also unknown.

Origin and Etymology of skulduggery

origin unknown


First Known Use: 1856


SKULDUGGERY Defined for English Language Learners

skulduggery

play
noun skul·dug·gery \ˌskəl-ˈdə-g(ə-)rē, ˈskəl-ˌdə-\

Definition of skulduggery for English Language Learners

  • : secret or dishonest behavior or activity


Learn More about skulduggery


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ