from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.
  • intransitive verb To act as a shill.
  • intransitive verb To act as a shill for (a deceitful enterprise).
  • intransitive verb To lure (a person) into a swindle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To sound; shrill.
  • A variant of sheal.
  • Shrill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To put under cover; to sheal.
  • transitive verb Obs. or Prov. Eng. To shell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person paid to endorse a product favourably, while pretending to be impartial.
  • noun An accomplice at a confidence trick during an auction or gambling game.
  • verb pejorative To promote or endorse in return for payment, especially dishonestly.
  • verb To put under cover; to sheal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb act as a shill
  • noun a decoy who acts as an enthusiastic customer in order to stimulate the participation of others


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps short for shillaber, shill, of unknown origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Unknown; attested as verb 1914, as noun 1916. Perhaps an abbreviation of shillaber, attested 1913. The word entered English via carny, originally denoting a carnival worker who pretends to be a member of the audience in an attempt to elicit interest in an attraction.


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  • "Rosa Luxemburg sez: “The first revolutionary act is to call things by their true names.�? Well then, here goes: Whether we—or Lord Obama—choose to admit it or not, the vaunted “American way of life�? was built on a nearly exterminated indigenous population, the African slave trade, and all those killed in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, etc. It was built on stolen land using stolen oil. Our way of life was built on terror and it is maintained by terror: e.g. cops, prisons, military, and the psychological oppression of propaganda.

    The exalted Pope of Hope is merely shilling old Kool-Aid in shiny new recyclable bottles. Until we act, we remain accomplices to his global and domestic crimes."

    - Mickey Z., 'Obama Nation Upholds US Terror', 15 Jan 2009,

    January 20, 2009

  • "'I've never been a bouncer before,' Charles said conversationally. 'I was the youngest son of a minor baronet, so I've had to make my own way, and I've done many things. I've worked as a bartender before, and many years ago I was a shill for a whorehouse. Stood outside, trumpeted the wares of the strumpets--that's a neat phrase, isn't it?--threw out men who got too rough with the whores. I suppose that's the same as being a bouncer."-Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris

    May 19, 2011