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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.]
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.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
[1815–25, Amer.]
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.shinplaster - paper money of little value issued on insufficient security
money - the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender; "we tried to collect the money he owed us"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
In the North a carpenter got three dollars a day, gold valuation; in the South he got fifty -- pay- able in Confederate shinplasters worth a dollar a bushel.
The Obama administration sought to remove his visage from the obverse of the $20 bill, a development unlikely to have troubled the hard-money Jackson, who scorned paper money as shinplaster. The Trump administration has stayed Jackson's currency execution, and the president hung Jackson's portrait in the Oval Office.
Wells, Robert Sherwood, Allen Ginsberg, Gore Vidal, Mario Cuomo, Garry Wills, Richard Slotkin (using an excerpt from Slotkin's inept shinplaster, Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln), E.L.
Weber, Free Banking, Wildcat Banking, and Shinplasters, FED.