- a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.
- a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty.
verb (used without object)
- to work as a shill: He shills for a large casino.
verb (used with object)
- to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle: He was hired to shill a new TV show.
- slang a confidence trickster’s assistant, esp a person who poses as an ordinary customer, gambler, etc, in order to entice others to participate
n.“one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc.,” 1916, probably originally circus or carnival argot, probably a shortened form of shillaber (1913) with the same meaning, origin unknown. The verb is attested from 1914. Related: Shilled; shilling.