\ 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 Platt’s character, a progressive who vocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement, has to decide whether to testify and allow the video to be shown in court, or refuse and completely shirk his responsibilities as an ally. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 15 Sep. 2021 Rather than rise to the challenge of Cavani’s presence, Martial seemed to shirk away and retreat in to himself. Sam Pilger, Forbes, 29 June 2021 As Miller began to push Trump toward committing to a statement that suggested the administration would cooperate with the incoming Biden administration, Trump also appeared to shirk responsibility for the attack on the Capitol., 28 June 2021 Because the technology won't work and people will shirk. CBS News, 20 June 2021 He is charged with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 17 June 2021 Avoid taking on new responsibilities or adding to your debt load, but don’t shirk duties or ignore financial obligations. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 8 June 2021 Jesus doesn’t teach us to shirk our financial obligations, and the SBC has a lot of obligations. Dominic Pino, National Review, 3 June 2021 In its most consequential and highly anticipated decision to date, the board effectively punted responsibility back to Facebook — and not without some harsh words about the company’s attempts to shirk responsibility and make up rules on the fly. NBC News, 6 May 2021

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

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shirk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for shirk



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shirk

Nglish: Translation of shirk for Spanish Speakers

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


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