follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

shanghai

[shang-hahy, shang-hahy] /ˈʃæŋ haɪ, ʃæŋˈhaɪ/
verb (used with object), shanghaied, shanghaiing. Nautical
1.
to enroll or obtain (a sailor) for the crew of a ship by unscrupulous means, as by force or the use of liquor or drugs.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; after Shanghai
Can be confused
hijack, kidnap, shanghai, skyjack.

Shanghai

[shang-hahy; Chinese shahng-hahy] /ʃæŋˈhaɪ; Chinese ˈʃɑŋˈhaɪ/
noun
1.
Pinyin, Wade-Giles. a seaport and municipality in E China, near the mouth of the Chang Jiang.
2.
a type of long-legged chicken believed to be of Asian origin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for shanghai

shanghai

/ˈʃæŋhaɪ; ʃæŋˈhaɪ/
verb (transitive) -hais, -haiing, -haied
1.
to kidnap (a man or seaman) for enforced service at sea, esp on a merchant ship
2.
to force or trick (someone) into doing something, going somewhere, etc
3.
(Austral & NZ) to shoot with a catapult
noun
4.
(Austral & NZ) a catapult
Word Origin
C19: from the city of Shanghai; from the forceful methods formerly used to collect crews for voyages to the Orient

Shanghai

/ˈʃæŋˈhaɪ/
noun
1.
a port in E China, capital of Shanghai municipality (traditionally in SE Jiangsu) near the estuary of the Yangtze: the largest city in China and one of the largest ports in the world; a major cultural and industrial centre, with many universities. Pop: 12 665 000 (2005 est)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for shanghai
v.

"to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor," 1854, American English, from the practice of kidnapping to fill the crews of ships making extended voyages, such as to the Chinese seaport of Shanghai.

Shanghai

Chinese seaport, literally "by the sea," from Shang "on, above" + hai "sea." In 19c., a long-legged breed of hens, supposed to have come from there; hence U.S. slang senses relating to long, tall persons or things.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
shanghai in Culture

Shanghai definition


Largest city in China, located in the eastern part of the country on the Pacific Ocean.

Note: Shanghai is the most populous city in Asia.
Note: It is one of the world's great seaports.
Note: Opened to foreign trade by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, Shanghai became a treaty port administered by Britain, the United States, and France until World War II.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for shanghai

shanghai

verb

To put someone into an awkward situation by trickery; to force someone into a situation (1871+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for shanghai

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for shanghai

15
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with shanghai

Nearby words for shanghai