skulduggery

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

Definition of skulduggery

plural skulduggeries
: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

Recent Examples of skulduggery from the Web

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

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


SKULDUGGERY Defined for English Language Learners

skulduggery

play
noun

Definition of skulduggery for English Language Learners

  • : secret or dishonest behavior or activity


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