\ 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

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 The Douglas County cemetery and others in Colorado cater to a growing population of Americans looking to shirk the conventional customs of death. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "As trends shift, Colorado cemeteries and funeral homes look to inject life into the commemoration of death," 28 July 2019 Newsletter Sign-up The author, evidently, has never shirked conflict. Tony Fletcher, WSJ, "‘Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite’ Review: The Hardest-Working Man in Rock," 14 Dec. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near shirk

shire town







Statistics for shirk

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shirk

The first known use of shirk was in 1681

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shirk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shirk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

What made you want to look up shirk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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