shear

verb
\ ˈshir How to pronounce shear (audio) \
sheared; sheared or shorn\ ˈshȯrn How to pronounce shorn (audio) \; shearing

Definition of shear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cut off the hair from
b : to cut or clip (hair, wool, etc.) from someone or something also : to cut something from shear a lawn
c chiefly Scotland : to reap with a sickle
d : to cut or trim with shears or a similar instrument
2 : to cut with something sharp
3 : to deprive of something as if by cutting lives shorn of any hope— M. W. Browne
4a : to subject to a shear force
b : to cause (something, such as a rock mass) to move along the plane of contact

intransitive verb

1 : to cut through something with or as if with a sharp instrument
2 chiefly Scotland : to reap crops with a sickle
3 : to become divided under the action of a shear

shear

noun

Definition of shear (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : a cutting implement similar or identical to a pair of scissors but typically larger usually used in plural
(2) : one blade of a pair of shears
b : any of various cutting tools or machines operating by the action of opposed cutting edges of metal usually used in plural
c(1) : something resembling a shear or a pair of shears
(2) : a hoisting apparatus consisting of two or sometimes more upright spars fastened together at their upper ends and having tackle for masting or dismasting ships or lifting heavy loads (such as guns) usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
2 chiefly British : the action or process or an instance of shearing used in combination to indicate the approximate age of sheep in terms of shearings undergone
3a : internal force tangential to the section on which it acts

called also shearing force

b : an action or stress resulting from applied forces that causes or tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact

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Other Words from shear

Verb

shearer noun

Synonyms for shear

Synonyms: Verb

bob, clip, crop, cut, cut back, dock, lop (off), nip, pare, poll, prune, shave, snip, trim

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Examples of shear in a Sentence

Verb

The farmers sheared the sheep. The farmers sheared the wool from the sheep.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Every so often, a wool sheep is found that hasn’t been sheared for years, emerging from a cave or a remote mountain pass looking like a bulbous duster on spindly legs. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Fiber Optics: Wool Lovers Battle Animal-Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing," 7 Jan. 2019 Trees also sheared and pruned to have them branch quicker and achieve the full appearance commonly seen in Christmas trees. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Noffke Tree Farm celebrates 65 years in the Christmas tree business," 14 Dec. 2017 Zones: 6 to 8 Rounded or Sphere-Shaped Boxwoods Winter Gem (Buxus microphylla japonica 'Winter Gem') This boxwood makes a nice hedge and takes shearing well. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 The collision, about 45 miles west of New York City, sheared the bus from its wheelbase and crushed the front end of the dump truck. Washington Post, "Bus driver with violations caused fatal highway collision," 26 May 2018 Zones: 7 to 9 Little Ollie Montra Dwarf Olive (Olea europaea 'Montra') This dwarf evergreen has deep green leaves with silvery undersides and can be potted or sheared into a hedge. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 Video of the July 26, 2017, Fire Ball accident showed gondolas holding multiple riders shearing apart during operation, ejecting riders in mid-swing and plunging them to the ground. Julie Carr Smyth, The Seattle Times, "State fair officials work to reassure visitors about safety," 23 July 2018 More than 40 other people were injured, some seriously, in the crash, which resulted in the bus’s frame being sheared from its wheelbase. Washington Post, "School bus driver in crash that killed 2 appears in court," 25 May 2018 Restaurant worker Juan Ramon Hernandez said people in the mall were evacuated only about five minutes before the offices sheared off. Fox News, "Controversial shopping mall partly collapses in Mexico City," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shrek, a merino wool sheep found in a New Zealand cave, became famous for going six years without a shear. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Fiber Optics: Wool Lovers Battle Animal-Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing," 7 Jan. 2019 Retrofuturist Bangs, Bobs, and Bowls are Having a Moment As far as Guido Palau's career-making shears are concerned, the shorter and more off-kilter the cut, the better. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The 6 Beauty Lessons To Steal Right Now From Paris Fashion Week," 3 Oct. 2018 Through soliciting donations and selling coffee to commuters, Mr. Leccese raised $4,500 for the kits, which include trauma shears, tourniquets, gloves, highly absorbent gauze and an instruction card. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "In Age of Mass Shootings, Boy Scout Projects Hope to Keep Schools Safe," 6 Jan. 2019 Use lopping shears to remove branches one at a time. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "What gardeners should take away from this winter’s extended cold snap," 26 Jan. 2018 The inmates start with mannequins (which need to be signed out, along with tools like shears) and can later take on clients — other inmates and staff. Carlos Chavarría, Allure, "How Prison Salons Are Doing More Than Just Making Inmates Look Good," 18 July 2018 The squabs can be served whole or cut in half with kitchen shears; or, use a sharp knife to carve the meat away from the breast cage. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Oven-Roasted Squab and Watercress Salad Recipe," 17 Aug. 2011 Fast forward to the present day, and the Fab Four’s signature style promises to reveal alpine cheekbones and razor-sharp jawlines with a quick flip of the shears. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Hedi Slimane Just Served Up 6 Radical Haircuts Worth Stealing from His Male Cast at Céline," 29 Sep. 2018 You were supposed to feel the sudden wind-shear of hypocrisy. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "A Spectral Witness Materializes," 17 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shear.' 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 shear

Verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for shear

Verb

Middle English sheren, from Old English scieran; akin to Old Norse skera to cut, Latin curtus mutilated, curtailed, Greek keirein to cut, shear, Sanskrit kṛnāti he injures

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Statistics for shear

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shear

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

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More Definitions for shear

shear

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shear

: to cut the hair, wool, etc., off (an animal)
: to cut off (an animal's hair, wool, etc.)
: to cut off a person's hair

shear

verb
\ ˈshir How to pronounce shear (audio) \
sheared; sheared or shorn\ ˈshȯrn \; shearing

Kids Definition of shear

1 : to cut the hair or wool from : clip shear sheep
2 : to cut or clip (as hair or wool) from something
3 : to strip of as if by cutting The tyrants were shorn of their power.
4 : to cut or break sharply The sign was sheared off by a car.

Other Words from shear

shearer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on shear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shear

Spanish Central: Translation of shear

Nglish: Translation of shear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shear for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shear

Comments on shear

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