shave

1 of 2

verb

shaved; shaved or shaven ˈshā-vən How to pronounce shave (audio) ; shaving

transitive verb

1
a
: to remove a thin layer from
b
: to cut off in thin layers or shreds : slice
c
: to cut off closely
2
a
: to sever the hair from (the head or another part of the body) close to the roots
b
: to cut off (hair or beard) close to the skin
3
a
: to discount (a note) at an exorbitant rate
b
c
: to conspire to score fewer (points) than one is capable of (as to affect gambling outcomes)
4
: to come close to or touch lightly in passing

intransitive verb

1
: to cut off hair or beard close to the skin
2
: to proceed with difficulty : scrape

shave

2 of 2

noun

1
2
: a thin slice : shaving
3
: an act or the process of shaving

Examples of shave in a Sentence

Verb She cut herself while shaving her legs. The sheep were all shaved. He shaves every morning before breakfast. I cut myself shaving this morning. She shaves her dog's fur in the summer. He shaved some butter from the container. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state? Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 Last year’s report looked at 50 benchmarks but included only 20, Parli said, and this year’s will again shave off some older benchmarks to highlight newer, more comprehensive ones. Angela Yang, NBC News, 20 Feb. 2024 Microsoft has also shaved 23g off the weight compared to the Go 3. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Facial recognition shaves more than a minute off bag drop, to roughly 30 seconds, and reduces the security interaction from 25 seconds to about 10 seconds, said Greg Forbes, Delta’s managing director of airport experience. Christine Chung, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Losing access to Taiwanese semiconductors would shave five to ten percent off U.S. GDP. Andrew S. Erickson, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2024 It should be noted that some prisons do have voluntary work programs in which inmates choose to do this type of work in order to learn a skill or, in some cases, shave time off their sentences. Angela L. Pagán / The Takeout, Quartz, 16 Feb. 2024 The style features bald shaves on the sides that gradually fade into a three-blade shave. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 More than two decades later, in 1995, the cartoonist Seymour Chwast portrayed a man shaving with a gas mask on his face. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024
Noun
One of the best parts of the razor’s design is the ability to tilt the head in order to rinse out any hairs between shaves. Erika Veurink, wsj.com, 27 Dec. 2023 Meanwhile, the three-blade system is made from tough Japanese stainless steel, while its powerful linear motor vibrates and cuts facial hair and stubble seamlessly and quickly for a speedy, close and smooth shave. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Dec. 2023 Kids can also taste some of those Hawaiian fruits in dessert form at JoJo’s Shave Ice, where they’re used in the homemade syrups (definitely opt for the macadamia nut ice cream addition, which goes under the shave ice). Genevieve Ko, Travel + Leisure, 31 Jan. 2024 The former can double as a shave assist with the slippery ingredient polyquaternium, the latter hydrates with coconut oil and a lightweight ester for quick absorption. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, 16 Jan. 2024 Many of us visit barbershops to get a fresh haircut, a clean shave, or to style our beard. Essence, 15 Dec. 2023 The rich shave butter softens even the coarsest hair for a smooth shave, preventing razor burn. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Get ready for the closest, smoothest shave ever at a major discount. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 25 June 2023 Strain off the ice into a cocktail or coupe glass, and garnish with a shave of fresh nutmeg. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 28 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Old English scafan; akin to Lithuanian skobti to pluck, Latin scabere to scratch, and perhaps to Greek koptein to cut — more at capon

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of shave was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shave

Cite this Entry

“Shave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shave. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

shave

1 of 2 verb
shaved; shaved or shaven ˈshā-vən How to pronounce shave (audio) ; shaving
1
a
: to cut off in thin layers or shreds
b
: to cut off closely
2
a
: to cut the hair from (as the head) close to the roots
b
: to cut off hair or beard close to the skin
3
: to come close to or touch lightly in passing
the tire shaved the curb

shave

2 of 2 noun
1
: a tool for shaving or cutting thin slices
2
: an act or process of shaving especially the beard
3
: a narrow escape
a close shave

More from Merriam-Webster on shave

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!