Definition of shoddy in English:



  • 1Badly made or done.

    ‘we're not paying good money for shoddy goods’
    • ‘Even then, homeowners often complain of shoddy workmanship.’
    • ‘It is abhorrent and deplorable both in its shoddy journalism and blatant personal assault on our artists.’
    • ‘Many years of shoddy work has resulted in the pathetic shape of city roads.’
    • ‘They're not the rather shoddy efforts that are made today.’
    • ‘If they don't act, they get accused of tolerating racism and shoddy intellectual thinking.’
    • ‘Contractors in connivance with corrupt officials do shoddy work deliberately, so that they get a fresh contract soon for the job.’
    • ‘The preferred option being presented by the borough council is a shoddy deal.’
    • ‘They are the ones who need to apologize for such biased and shoddy work.’
    • ‘Corrupt authorities also gave permits for shoddy housing and other construction in the riverbed, enriching individual contractors at the expense of public safety.’
    • ‘Describing me, he refers to my shoddy suit and badly scuffed shoes.’
    • ‘The report was, in short, an incredibly shoddy piece of work.’
    • ‘Those interests may be ill-informed, based on shoddy reasoning or false axioms, but none of that matters.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the problem of shoddy workmanship continues even today.’
    • ‘And get chummy with your local building inspector, whose job it is to spot shoddy workmanship.’
    • ‘I love all kinds of films, except the plotless kind with unconvincing acting, shoddy editing and duff music played on synths.’
    • ‘Many experts believe the toll would have been lower but for shoddy construction, corruption and government incompetence.’
    • ‘We can't say much about your shoddy workmanship, your poor literacy skills or your goldfish-like imagination.’
    • ‘Verbal aggression, insulting and rude behaviour, disregard for the rights of others, petty thieving and shoddy work were the norms.’
    • ‘Over the years, players were not recognised for their contributions and complained of shoddy treatment.’
    • ‘Letters to the editor and corrections are big black holes into which complaints about shoddy journalism disappear.’
    careless, slapdash, sloppy, slipshod, scrappy, untidy, messy, hasty, hurried, negligent, cursory
    poor-quality, inferior, second-rate, third-rate, low-grade, cheap, cheapjack, tawdry, rubbishy, trashy, gimcrack, jerry-built, crude, tinny
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    1. 1.1Lacking moral principle; sordid.
      ‘a shoddy misuse of the honours system’
      • ‘In short, while the proposal may have merit, the method of proposing it has been downright shoddy.’
      • ‘Rather an abuse of parliamentary privilege to achieve a cheap and shoddy pay back for his mates.’
      • ‘Moreover, because everything was so public, the authorities began to look pretty shoddy.’
      • ‘David thinks it's time to tear up the PC rule book and pull black men up on their shoddy behaviour.’
      • ‘We're not going to have the Government use shoddy, tawdry little tricks to drum up the notion of fear and then fail on competence.’
      • ‘That, given sufficient publicity some kind of audience will appeal for almost any event, no matter how shoddy or potentially immoral.’
      • ‘Historically, it has a shoddy pedigree of corruption and death.’
      sordid, Improper, low, mean, bad, wrong, evil, wicked, iniquitous, immoral, sinful
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  • [mass noun] An inferior quality yarn or fabric made from the shredded fibre of waste woollen cloth or clippings.

    ‘the production of shoddy and mattress stuffing’
    • ‘Replacing cotton shoddy with this new fiber may help auto makers avoid the issue.’
    • ‘There are cotton shoddy mats and foams and absorbers.’


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.