\ 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 In their suit, property owners say the DNR shirked its duty to protect the lake by allowing too much water to be pumped out through underground wells. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "White Bear Lake flourishes this summer with high water levels, but impending lawsuit looms," 14 Sep. 2019 Cancelo works tirelessly up and down the right-flank, never shirking a tackle, and this type of player has previously thrived under the stewardship of the Spanish tactician over the years., "João Cancelo: 5 Reasons Why Manchester City's New Full-Back Is the Perfect Etihad Addition," 11 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the clearest case of the disasters that await when board members shirk their responsibilities is Enron, the energy company that collapsed in 2001. Siri Terjesen, The Conversation, "Corporate boards are supposed to oversee companies but often turn a blind eye," 24 June 2019 Female indulgence is often displayed as shirking from work, whereas men are portrayed as having enough power to travel the world on a whim. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "We have hedonism all wrong, according to ancient Greek philosophy," 8 Sep. 2019 Employers shirk responsibility to safety net programs like workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Dustin Gardiner,, "California’s AB5 gig-work bill gets key backing from Gov. Gavin Newsom," 3 Sep. 2019 These instances illustrate ways in which private entities have figured out how to shirk the system and international law. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019 These slender, creative midfielders often shirk the physical side of the game, but that cannot be said for Gilmour., "Billy Gilmour: 7 Things to Know About the Chelsea Wonderkid Impressing in Pre-Season," 14 July 2019 In 2018, Creve Coeur filed a class action on behalf of itself and other cities in Missouri with the allegation that Netflix and Hulu were shirking their fee obligations. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix Sent to State Court to Fight Missouri Cities on Fees," 6 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for shirk

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for shirk

The first known use of shirk was in 1681

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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

Comments on shirk

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a calculated move

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