\ ˈshärd How to pronounce shard (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sherd (audio) \ : 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

The blast would break windows, and those standing near the glass might be killed by shards, or at least shed blood from myriad cuts. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 Covered in crystal shards and metallic embroidery the innovative minidress meshed with Stewart’s personal style right down to the simple black heels. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Kristen Stewart Goes Barefoot on the Cannes Red Carpet—And Wins," 14 May 2018 For the moment, these shards and fragments sit in two crates in an exhibition room under Andy Warhol’s vivid, bursting pop canvas of Vesuvius, on loan from the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "The (Really) Old and New Meet in Naples," 3 Jan. 2018 The sequence shows Leaf stabbing the heart of a man with a shard of dragonglass, causing his eyes to turn blue, showing his transformation into a White Walker. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The True Origins of the White Walkers' Terrifying Spiral Symbol in Game of Thrones," 15 Apr. 2019 There was a loud crack, and in an instant where the glass had been was sky, and I was covered with a million tiny shards. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 The object turned out to be a possible shard of glass. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, "After bloodshed in earlier U.S. riots, D.C. police showed restraint in 1968 unrest," 26 Mar. 2018 Restaurants and houses of worship that moments earlier were hosting holiday feasts and joyful services were plunged into chaos, filled with rubble, broken furniture, shards of glass and the... Uditha Jayasinghe, WSJ, "Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Kill at Least 290; Several Americans Dead," 22 Apr. 2019 The team bus for the Royals, the Blue Jays' opponent, was damaged by flying chunks of ice and a player had to take the wheel when the driver was hit by glass shards. Editors, USA TODAY, "James Comey's book, Tax Day, Arizona teachers strike: 5 things to know Tuesday," 17 Apr. 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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Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for shard

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

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More Definitions for shard



English Language Learners Definition of shard

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


\ ˈshärd How to pronounce shard (audio) \

Kids Definition of shard

: a sharp piece or fragment of something

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More from Merriam-Webster on shard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shard

Spanish Central: Translation of shard

Nglish: Translation of shard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shard

What made you want to look up shard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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