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Definition of "shilly-shally" [shil•ly-shal•ly]

  • To procrastinate. (verb-intransitive)
  • To be unable to come to a decision; vacillate. (verb-intransitive)
  • To spend time on insignificant things; dawdle. (verb-intransitive)
  • Hesitant; vacillating. (adjective)
  • Procrastination; hesitation. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "shilly-shally" in a sentence
  • "And while some polls show that Obama is still vulnerable on national security, especially as his administration seems to shilly-shally over how to try terrorists, public sentiment is lagging behind some very positive facts emerging on the ground."
  • "Quinlan:   "I don't shilly-shally around on this issue.""
  • "Cameron and Hague both continue to shilly-shally on this topic which makes many suspect that they will seek to avoid the issue if they can, knowing that a vote then to reject the Treaty would open up the whole issue of our membership of the EU at a stroke."