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1. A piece of paper money issued privately and devalued by inadequate security or by inflation.
2. A piece of paper money of small denomination issued by the government, especially one issued by the US government from 1862 to 1878.
[From its resemblance to paper used in plasters for sore legs.]
(Banking & Finance) US and Canadian and Austral a promissory note on brittle paper, issued by an individual
[C19: so called because of its resemblance to a sticking plaster]
shin•plas•ter(ˈʃɪnˌplæs tər, -ˌplɑ stər)
1. a plaster for the shin or leg.
2. Informal. (formerly)
a. a piece of paper money of a denomination lower than one dollar.
b. money of little value, as that issued on insufficient security.