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 (shä′məs, shā′-)
n. Slang
1. A police officer.
2. A private investigator.

[Perhaps from the common Irish name Séamus, James (from the many Irish Americans who traditionally served on American police forces ), or from shammes (the duties of a detective being likened to those of a shamash ).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈʃɑːməs; ˈʃeɪ-)
n, pl -muses
slang US a police or private detective
[probably from shammes, influenced by Irish Séamas James]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈʃɑ məs, ˈʃeɪ-)

n., pl. -mus•es. Slang.
1. a private detective.
2. a police officer.
[1925–30; of obscure orig.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shamus - someone who can be employed as a detective to collect informationshamus - someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
detective - an investigator engaged or employed in obtaining information not easily available to the public
hotel detective, house detective - a private detective employed by a hotel or retail store
inquiry agent - a private detective
store detective - a private detective employed by a merchant to stop pilferage
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"We're so proud of the support we've gotten from our readers and our donors," editor-in-chief Shamus Toomey told me.
They include photos of current and past performers, as well as quotes from Shamus Dickinson (Veranda L'Ni), Dottie Comma, Cece Noir, Howard Kolodny (Samantha Echo), and Bella Sin about who they are offstage and what motivates them to perform burlesque.
The MOU was signed by Registrar, MAJU, Muhammad Kashif Khan and Regional Director, Allied Group of Schools, Sindh and Baluchistan region, Naveed Shamus. According to MOU, the students of Allied and EFA group schools who will pass matriculation examination will receive 25 % discount at the time of admission at MAJU, no matter from which college they have completed their intermediate.
"Seattle embraced ACE last year, and we are extremely excited to return with an incredible lineup of stars," says Stephen Shamus, ACE Universe President.
Looking dapper Dawn Prisic of Dumfries sent in this picture of 12-year-old Shamus in a festive tie
Advisor for information Shamus Mir said the GB government had fixed its targets in education, health, waste management, endowment fund and skill development after forming the government.
Shamus Moore, registrar on the Weatherford campus, said students can enroll at the Registrar's Office on either the Weatherford or Sayre campuses.
In the 1946 film The Big Sleep, based on the Raymond Chandler mystery of the same name, Carmen--the promiscuous, drug-addicted younger sister of Lauren BacalPs character--sizes up Philip Marlowe, played by Humphrey Bogart, and asks him, "What are you, a prizefighter?" Bogart responds, "No, I'm a shamus.': "What's a shamus?" she inquires.
Carmela's ex-husband Shamus rides by the duo on his float at the head of the parade, when suddenly the revelry turns to disaster.
After founding the apparel company Belong Designs straight out of college, best friends Ben Thomson, Shamus McNutt and Mark Grubbs noticed business owners peppering them with questions about their startup.
Shamus Hussain asked for a specific officer he'd had dealings with previously to attend at his home in Moorside Road, Dewsbury.
Shamus Hodgson, MD of Moneybarn, said: "Our analysis has revealed some interesting and surprising results, with low pass rates for areas like Bedfordshire and the West Midlands not necessarily being what you'd typically expect.