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[sheyz] /ʃeɪz/
Daniel, 1747–1825, American Revolutionary War soldier: leader of a popular insurrection (Shays' Rebellion) in Massachusetts 1786–87.


[shey] /ʃeɪ/
noun, Chiefly Dialect
a chaise.
Origin of shay
1710-20; respelling and back formation from chaise (taken as plural) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Shays
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Shays and his followers demanded decreased taxes and a paper currency.

  • When Shays' insurrection broke out, he assisted in its suppression.

    Tea Leaves Various
  • Shays' rebellion engulfed the greater part of Western Massachusetts; but ten years passed, and it had sunk into a mere tradition.

  • There are no Shays in this country; but Bill had read the word somewhere, and thought it sounded respectable.

    Three Elephant Power Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson
  • He drove Shays from place to place, captured his followers, and put down the rebellion.

  • Shays could not provide stores and equipment and was unable to maintain discipline.

  • Follow him to his New England home in the turbulent days of Shays' rebellion, paper money, stay and tender laws, and land banks.

    The Frontier in American History Frederick Jackson Turner
  • Shays's war happened in the latter part of 1786 and the beginning of the following year.

    Grandfather's Chair Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for Shays


Daniel. ?1747–1825, American soldier and revolutionary leader of a rebellion of Massachusetts farmers against the US government (1786–87)


a dialect word for chaise
Word Origin
C18: back formation from chaise, mistakenly thought to be plural
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
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Word Origin and History for Shays



1717, back-formation from chaise (q.v.), wrangled into English and mistaken for a plural.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for Shays


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