\ 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 Himalayas rose glass-blue above the northern horizon, a darker shard of sky. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "These tea plantation workers in India face poverty—and dangers," 30 Aug. 2019 Sherburne said the panel, made of safety glass, was designed to shatter in place and fall as pellets rather than as a large shard. Katherine Shaver, Washington Post, "Girl injured after glass panel falls from Bethesda apartment building," 22 Aug. 2019 The task of restoring a missing shard to heal the crystal falls to a young Gelfling named Jen, aided by a wise astronomer named Aughra and his fellow Gelfling Kira. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Sigourney Weaver, Mark Hamill lend voices to Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," 13 Aug. 2019 BBC Sport report that Izaguirre, a left-back for Motagua, was one of those injured – and the former Celtic man later shared an image of himself with his left eye patched, claiming that it had been hurt by shards of glass., "Former Celtic Player Emilio Izaguirre Among 10 Injured as 3 Die in Honduras Derby Riots," 18 Aug. 2019 Three Motagua players --- Emilio Izaguirre, Jonathan Rougier, and Roberto Moreira -- were injured by shards of broken glass and transferred to a private hospital to receive medical assistance, according to the team's social media. Elvin Manuel Sandoval And Daniel Silva Fernández, CNN, "Three dead following clashes between soccer fans in Honduras," 18 Aug. 2019 The chef was serving the jet-black dumplings on a plastic spoon with a drop of vinegar and a couple of shards of sliced ginger. Jenn Harrisstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "The best dumplings in Los Angeles, an official guide," 29 July 2019 Their work reconfigures the pile of shards, making something new out of them. Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Novels Against Nationalism," 29 July 2019 The as-of-yet unidentified vandal or vandals also threw a rock through two of the victims’ homes, injuring a young boy who was hit with shards of glass, according to one resident. Annie Sciacca, The Mercury News, "Bay Point: Black families’ homes hit with with racist graffiti, vandalism; sheriff not investigating as hate crime," 31 July 2019

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

13 Sep 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

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