Definition of shebang in English:



  • 1informal [in singular] A matter, operation, or set of circumstances.

    ‘the Mafia boss who's running the whole shebang’
    • ‘She found out more about the whole shebang over the course of the conference, signed up and soon she was the Chair Entity (seriously).’
    • ‘You roll the egg rolls into the lettuce, add whatever suits your fancy, and dip the whole shebang into a bowl of light, sweet dressing - pow!’
    • ‘I even had to buy a new case/box/container to fit the whole shebang into.’
    • ‘Double standards rule, even in counterculture, where they are supposedly above that, which makes the whole shebang all the more criminal.’
    • ‘I have tried to eat healthier, drink plenty of water, exercise and the whole shebang.’
    • ‘CBS will broadcast the whole shebang on December 21.’
    • ‘We're out of it; they said the same about that New York team after game two of the World Series, and the Highlanders came back to win the whole shebang.’
    • ‘It takes many forms, from contracting out construction to handing over the whole shebang under contracts loaded in favour of new operators.’
    • ‘Due to general fatigue and increased business for the organizers' artist agency, next year the whole shebang will last but a weekend.’
    • ‘It provides a nice contemporary counterpoint to the previously posted Christmas Scenes, and Smith's reflections on the whole shebang resonate with me, anyway.’
    • ‘I don't care how people want to celebrate their relationships, or how many of what flavour vows they want to take, or who they want to get to witness and bless the whole shebang.’
    • ‘Soon Stan was at the soundboard with the older man, whose English was as nonexistent as Stan's Bulgarian, and the whole shebang was ready to go.’
    • ‘Rather, he wants it to serve the same function as one of those toothpicked food samples at the supermarket: a way to entice consumers to buy the whole shebang.’
    • ‘In any case, even if something did start off the whole shebang, the thing might no longer exist.’
    • ‘Some of the punters appear pleasantly surprised by the whole shebang, and after all, Dylan granted them a first half consisting solely of acoustic, harmonica-blowing tranquility.’
    • ‘But when a computer program seems to have written the script (was it Final Draft or Collaborator that did the deed?) the whole shebang can fall apart.’
    • ‘The Russians pointed out that if they made their bullets the same diameter as the inside of the cartridge case and their barrels to match, then the whole shebang would work better.’
    • ‘Three film-makers will document the whole shebang on-site at the Theatre Plaza.’
    • ‘They should liquidate the whole shebang and turn over its business to an outfit that gives a stuff about customer service.’
    • ‘But Halloween is a new import from America, along with the whole shebang of decorations, customs and commercial opportunities that accompany it.’
  • 2North American archaic A rough hut or shelter.

    • ‘Their only protections from the sun were ‘shebangs,’ improvised shelters constructed from blankets, rags, and pine boughs, or dug into the hard, red Georgia clay.’


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.