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shear

verb \ ˈshir \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of shear

sheared; sheared or shorn play \ˈshȯrn\; shearing
transitive verb
1 a :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
4 a :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

shearer

noun

Examples of shear in a Sentence

  1. The farmers sheared the sheep.

  2. The farmers sheared the wool from the sheep.

Recent Examples of shear from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of shear

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

shear Synonyms

Synonyms
bob, crop, cut, cut back, dock, lop (off), nip, pare, poll, prune, shave, clip, snip, trim
Related Words
skive, whittle; manicure, mow; pinch, stump; curtail, shorten
Near Antonyms
elongate, extend, lengthen

2

shear

noun

Definition of shear

1 a (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
3 a :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

Recent Examples of shear from the Web

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.

First Known Use of shear

before 12th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms



SHEAR Defined for English Language Learners

shear

verb

Definition of shear for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

shear

verb \ ˈshir \

Definition of shear for Students

sheared; sheared or shorn \ˈshȯrn\; shearing
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.

shearer

noun


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