Julia was so startled that she dropped the bowl, and it shattered into china shards.
"The machine stubbornly held together for much of the pounding, though shards of glass could be seen flying in different directions with a few of the swipes." From an article by Tom Precious in the Buffalo News (New York), October 13, 2013
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"Shard" dates back to Old English (where it was spelled "sceard"), and it is related to the Old English word "scieran," meaning "to cut." English speakers have adopted the modernized "shard" spelling for most uses, but archeologists prefer to spell the word "sherd" when referring to the ancient fragments of pottery they unearth. Other specialized uses of the word "shard" include a sense referring to the thick front wings in beetles that protect a hind pair of wings and another sense used for the highly angular curved glass fragments of a type of volcanic rock formation.
Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "pecuniary," our Word of the Day from October 13? The answer is
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