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[skuhl-duhg-uh-ree] /skʌlˈdʌg ə ri/
noun, plural skulduggeries.
dishonorable proceedings; mean dishonesty or trickery:
bribery, graft, and other such skulduggery.
an instance of dishonest or deceitful behavior; trick.
Origin of skulduggery
1705-15, Americanism; variant of sculduddery, orig. Scots: fornication, obscenity < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skulduggery
  • Congratulations to all for their mastery of skulduggery.
  • Admittedly, none of these tales has lacked for skulduggery either.
  • Translation delays should not be attributed to skulduggery or incompetence.
  • The scarier these agencies make the enemy appear, the more cash they can claim to need for their own skulduggery.
  • Finding evidence of that sort of skulduggery may be difficult, and proving it even more so.
  • Already this year, however, two more governors have been removed for campaign skulduggery.
  • And his alleged skulduggery went on under the noses of the public-prosecutor's office.
  • Jolly enough, but relentless skulduggery did not help the empire's stability.
  • He will still cheat, and he will certainly try to obstruct the outsiders' view of his skulduggery.
  • Regional elections are still tarnished by money and skulduggery.
British Dictionary definitions for skulduggery


(informal) underhand dealing; trickery
Word Origin
C19: altered from earlier Scot sculduddery; of obscure origin
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 skulduggery

1856, apparently an alteration of Scottish sculdudrie "adultery" (1713), sculduddery "bawdry, obscenity" (1821), a euphemism of uncertain origin.

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


  1. A police officer (1930s+ Black)
  2. A very difficult course in school (1920s+ Students)

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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