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 Kraussb : shell, scale; especially : elytron
2 or sherd play \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
shard was our Word of the Day on 11/13/2013. Hear the podcast!
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.
Origin and Etymology of shard
Middle English, from Old English sceard; akin to Old English scieran to cut — more at shear
First Known Use: before 12th century
SHARD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of shard for English Language Learners
: a sharp piece of something (such as glass or pottery)
SHARD Defined for Kids
Definition of shard for Students
: a sharp piece or fragment of something
Seen and Heard
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