shard

noun
\ˈshärd \

Definition of shard 

1a : a piece or fragment of a brittle substance shards of glass broadly : a small piece or part : scrap little shards of time and space recorded by the camera's lens — Rosalind Krauss

b : shell, scale especially : elytron

2 or sherd \ ˈshərd \ : a fragment of a pottery vessel found on sites and in refuse deposits where pottery-making peoples have lived

3 : highly angular curved glass fragments of tuffaceous sediments

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Did You Know?

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.

Examples of shard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Sweet, Sweet Blackmail Seconds after the shot Martha unceremoniously dropped the cake; chocolate icing and Martha Stewart for Macy's ceramic shards littering the tile floor. Sarah Solomon, Town & Country, "10 Short Stories Inspired by Martha Stewart's Social Media Genius," 4 May 2017 Within about 5 seconds, the bear clambers out through the shards of glass and runs away. Tiffini Theisen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Viral video shows deputy smashing car window to let trapped bear escape," 20 June 2018 Noctilucent clouds form around the poles in the summer months, when ice crystallizes around shards of disintegrating meteoroids, volcanic dust, and even rocket plumes 50 miles above the surface, according to NASA. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How to capture the eerie nighttime clouds of climate change," 6 July 2018 Police tried communicating with the nude man, who allegedly responded by throwing glass shards at the officers. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Naked N.H. Man Allegedly Strangled a Golden Retriever," 22 June 2018 The penthouse is at 400 Park Avenue South, a shard-like skyscraper in the city’s NoMad district that was designed by Pritzker-Prize winning architect Christian de Portzamparc. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Seagram Heir Lists New York City Penthouse for $12.5 Million," 21 June 2018 In the strongest work, half of the 9-foot-tall aureole apparently has been blown away, black resin flapping in shards out the back. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Jamison Carter's sculptures: Like a carpenter's guide to the cosmos, or earthbound explosions of space," 14 June 2018 And in 2016, some of the more than 30 beached sperm whales beached in Europe were found with plastic debris in their stomachs, National Geographic reported, including a large fishing net, an engine cover and shards of a plastic bucket. Alex Horton, BostonGlobe.com, "No one could save a pilot whale that swallowed 17 pounds of plastic bags off Thailand," 3 June 2018 And in 2016, some of the more than 30 beached sperm whales beached in Europe were found with plastic debris in their stomachs, National Geographic reported, including a large fishing net, an engine cover and shards of a plastic bucket. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "No one could save a pilot whale that swallowed 17 pounds of plastic bags off Thailand," 3 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shard

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shard

Middle English, from Old English sceard; akin to Old English scieran to cut — more at shear

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Statistics for shard

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shard

The first known use of shard was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shard

shard

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shard

: a sharp piece of something (such as glass or pottery)

shard

noun
\ˈshärd \

Kids Definition of shard

: a sharp piece or fragment of something

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