Definition of shenanigans in US English:


plural noun

  • 1Secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering.

    ‘widespread financial shenanigans had ruined the fortunes of many’
    • ‘Some of the most egregious alleged conduct had nothing to do with arcane accounting shenanigans.’
    • ‘People have grown accustomed to political shenanigans to the point where it's considered a form of entertainment.’
    • ‘So you had these excesses of deception and shenanigans and cheating.’
    • ‘Look at the political shenanigans behind his appointment.’
    • ‘Ultimately, he went to war with accountants, whom he felt were turning a blind eye to financial shenanigans.’
    • ‘At present, the Enron scandal is largely defined by the financial shenanigans that have surfaced.’
    • ‘It would be easier to focus on tales of high-tech Scottish wizardry or financial shenanigans instead.’
    • ‘The financial shenanigans will only add to their existing concerns.’
    • ‘It's time for Democrats who are sick of such shenanigans to speak up and repudiate these clowns.’
    • ‘I disapprove of his creeping capitalist shenanigans.’
    • ‘He studiously avoided leaving a paper trail that could implicate him in the financial shenanigans.’
    • ‘The launch of the single currency was only slightly marred by this political controversy, and the financial markets reacted calmly to the shenanigans.’
    • ‘These shenanigans were kept secret, and were only revealed after council appointed a judge to investigate.’
    • ‘This does not suggest financial shenanigans, just sales reps keen to hit their targets.’
    • ‘I hear stories like this time and time again, and I can't believe companies get away with such shenanigans.’
    • ‘There are no such shenanigans at my son's primary.’
    • ‘Will this campaign feature the financial shenanigans so common in the past?’
    • ‘He was being investigated over various financial shenanigans.’
    • ‘Go back to Sweden and take your criminal shenanigans with you.’
    • ‘But don't expect to read any honest analysis of American shenanigans.’
    deceitfulness, deceit, deception, deviousness, two-facedness, double-dealing, underhandedness, dishonesty, falseness, falsity, fraud, fraudulence, sharp practice, swindling, cheating, chicanery, trickery, craft, guile, artifice, subterfuge, skulduggery, treachery, unfairness, unjustness, perfidy, improbity
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    1. 1.1 Silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief.
      • ‘Olympic village shenanigans aren't limited to sex.’
      • ‘Back in the bar it was shenanigans as usual, noisy and a lot of fun goings-on.’
      • ‘I'm still pretty beat after all of the shenanigans of the long weekend, but wanted to post so as to allow viewing of the new template.’
      • ‘He still wants to attract headlines but he wants them to focus on his exploits on the pitch rather than any alleged shenanigans at spilling out time in his hometown of Edinburgh.’
      • ‘Last month's conference in Dublin was accompanied by the kind of practical jokes and shenanigans that would disgrace a stag party.’
      • ‘Which probably makes him the ideal person to hold forth on royal shenanigans: who better than a clown to discuss a joke?’
      mischief, mischievousness, naughtiness, badness
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Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.