\ 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 shard (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

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 Having secreted away a shard of glass from Gus' accident in the previous episode, Nacho sliced off his cuffs, stabbed Bolsa in the leg, and took him hostage at gunpoint. Dan Snierson,, 26 Apr. 2022 His final resting place, marked by a broken zip tie and a bloodied shard of glass, where desert flowers bloom. Kat Rosenfield,, 26 Apr. 2022 Commuters and touring passengers with cameras around their necks sometimes sat cheek by jowl, taking in the sights of flashing neon billboards, junk boats and shard-like skyscrapers rising toward Victoria Peak. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Add a medium-sized ice shard, lightly smashed into bits, or one or two cubes of ice; close the shaker and whip until the ice is nearly all melted. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Apr. 2022 One shard of glass ripped his hand and another across his forehead. Alan Cullison, WSJ, 26 Mar. 2022 One artifact — a shard of his coffin — was seemingly plucked from Poe’s grisly imagination. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 In it, there’s a shard of glass that shows Captain Carter’s shield. Chris Smith, BGR, 3 Mar. 2022 Some developers have noted improvements from alternative methods that offer better energy efficiency, less hardware requirements, stronger immunity to centralization and stronger support for shard chains. Mo Ghoneim, Rolling Stone, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for shard


\ ˈshärd How to pronounce shard (audio) \

Kids Definition of shard

: a sharp piece or fragment of something

More from Merriam-Webster on shard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shard

Nglish: Translation of shard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shard for Arabic Speakers


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