\ 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 Newsmax anchor Bob Sellers interjected by reading a legal disclaimer that was clearly drafted beforehand by Newsmax lawyers in a calculated attempt to shirk responsibility for what Newsmax knew Lindell would say on air. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Dominion Voting Systems’ Legal Rampage Against Trump’s Grifters," 24 Feb. 2021 Critics have said the lack of oversight allowed the state to shirk its responsibilities under federal requirements that would have better prepared the energy grid for winter weather. NBC News, "Four energy board members to resign after catastrophic Texas blackouts during winter storm," 23 Feb. 2021 And as the virus continues to spread, the campus is urging students to report their peers who gather in large groups or shirk other safety guidance. Washington Post, "U-Va. officials blame widespread noncompliance of guidelines for recent surge in coronavirus cases," 18 Feb. 2021 Democrats have signaled a willingness to shirk bipartisanship by passing the measure via Congress's budget reconciliation process, a tactic that would allow the majority party to circumvent the Senate's 60-vote filibuster threshold. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "'That’s not a way of working together': Manchin reacts to Harris’s TV appearance in his state," 30 Jan. 2021 Absent employees risked being viewed as less dedicated, or suspected of trying to shirk their duties. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 Big banks cannot shirk their responsibility to help fund the world’s move towards a low-carbon economy, HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said. Carlos Brito,, "BlackRock’s Fink and Eskom’s De Ruyter Set to Speak: NEF Update," 18 Nov. 2020 When the spring thaw comes, don’t shirk the sunshine in favor of your new chess habit. Janelle Randazza, USA TODAY, "26 popular chess sets for people obsessed with The Queen's Gambit," 2 Dec. 2020 Yet the initiative doesn’t include an enforcement mechanism for regulators or individual drivers to go after companies that shirk their obligations, legal experts said. Joel Rosenblatt,, "Uber Won Its Prized Contractor Status for Drivers. Now What?," 4 Nov. 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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Learn More about shirk

Statistics for shirk

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shirk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 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.

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