verb (used with object), shang·haied, shang·hai·ing. Nautical.

  1. to enroll or obtain (a sailor) for the crew of a ship by unscrupulous means, as by force or the use of liquor or drugs.

verb -hais, -haiing or -haied (tr)

  1. to kidnap (a man or seaman) for enforced service at sea, esp on a merchant ship
  2. to force or trick (someone) into doing something, going somewhere, etc
  3. Australian and NZ to shoot with a catapult


  1. Australian and NZ a catapult


  1. a port in E China, capital of Shanghai municipality (traditionally in SE Jiangsu) near the estuary of the Yangtze: the largest city in China and one of the largest ports in the world; a major cultural and industrial centre, with many universities. Pop: 12 665 000 (2005 est)

v.“to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor,” 1854, American English, from the practice of kidnapping to fill the crews of ships making extended voyages, such as to the Chinese seaport of Shanghai. Chinese seaport, literally “by the sea,” from Shang “on, above” + hai “sea.” In 19c., a long-legged breed of hens, supposed to have come from there; hence U.S. slang senses relating to long, tall persons or things. Largest city in China, located in the eastern part of the country on the Pacific Ocean.

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