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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.
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
sha•mus(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.
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|Noun||1.||shamus - 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
inquiry agent - a private detective
store detective - a private detective employed by a merchant to stop pilferage
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