\ ˈshərk How to pronounce shirk (audio) \
shirked; shirking; shirks

Definition of shirk

intransitive verb

1 : to go stealthily : sneak
2 : to evade the performance of an obligation

transitive verb

: avoid, evade shirk one's duty

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Other Words from shirk

shirker noun

Examples of shirk in a Sentence

He's too conscientious to shirk his duty. He never shirked from doing his duty. They did their duty without shirking or complaining.
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Recent Examples on the Web That tendency to shirk the status quo is peak Gen Z, and its no wonder that Zoomers are among the loudest voices in the call for the radical re-imagination of what society could be. Ineye Komonibo,, "Miss Juneteenth Is The Timely Narrative We Need Right Now," 19 June 2020 Slow internet speeds at home are no excuse for shirking, says Yue Qiu, a secondary-school teacher in Beijing. The Economist, "The coronavirus is causing massive disruption to education in China," 27 Feb. 2020 Last week, a Chubb client — the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — sued the insurer, accusing it of shirking its contractual duty by refusing to cover losses generated by the pandemic. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "Arts Groups Fight Their Insurers Over Coverage on Virus Losses," 5 May 2020 Frank Kessie, Ismael Bennacer and Lucas Paqueta were all guilty of shirking their creative duties this evening, often opting for the safer pass instead of slipping in one of MIlan's front three., "AC Milan 1-0 SPAL: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Suso Spares Rossoneri's Blushes," 31 Oct. 2019 But perhaps these demure little creatures have shirked the spotlight for far too long. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hero Shrews’ Extreme, Superstrong Backbones Are the Stuff of Legend," 30 Apr. 2020 The American government is not designed for lawmakers to shirk their duties indefinitely, either on a practical level or a democratic one. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Congress Has Abandoned the Country," 15 Apr. 2020 To their credit, according to reports on the phone calls, the leaders have told the president that the Great American Economic Revival will require a huge investment in testing, an obligation that the government has been shirking for weeks. Steven Levy, Wired, "Here's Who Should Really Be Advising Trump on the Economy," 17 Apr. 2020 For those frustrated by the extent to which Matthews’ generation has shirked its responsibilities to future citizens of Earth, there was a hint of symbolism in that moment. Judy Berman, Time, "Chris Matthews Ceded Cable News to a New Generation. But They’d Be Better Off Without It," 4 Mar. 2020

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

1681, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shirk

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for shirk

Time Traveler

The first known use of shirk was in 1681

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Statistics for shirk

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shirk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for shirk


How to pronounce shirk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shirk

: to avoid doing something that you are supposed to do


\ ˈshərk How to pronounce shirk (audio) \
shirked; shirking

Kids Definition of shirk

: to avoid doing something especially because of laziness, fear, or dislike Don't shirk your chores.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shirk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shirk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shirk

Spanish Central: Translation of shirk

Nglish: Translation of shirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shirk for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shirk

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