shred

noun
\ ˈshred How to pronounce shred (audio) , especially Southern ˈsred\

Definition of shred

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a long narrow strip cut or torn off
b shreds plural : a shredded, damaged, or ruined condition a reputation torn to shreds
2 : particle, scrap not a shred of evidence

shred

verb
shredded; shredding

Definition of shred (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cut or tear into shreds shredded the documents
2 : demolish sense 2 sharp lawyers shredding hapless witnesses— Charles Krauthammer
3 archaic : to cut off

intransitive verb

: to come apart in or break up into shreds

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shred

Verb

shredder noun

Examples of shred in a Sentence

Noun

The wallpaper is in shreds. His reputation was in shreds after the arrest. He struggled to retain a shred of his dignity.

Verb

Shred the cabbage and add it to the salad. shredded some cooked chicken for the soup
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These plastic shreds, or chips, were rinsed after being separated and were sometimes loaded wet onto Wiley Sanders trucks for transport. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Alabama trucking company to pay $3 million over lead leaks in California," 29 Aug. 2019 New verbs entered the surf lexicon: shred, tear, lacerate. Jamie Brisick, The New Yorker, "Surfing in the Age of the Omnipresent Camera," 26 Aug. 2019 There isn't a single shred of evidence to indicate that the founding fathers had any inkling towards restricting or limiting these weapons to anyone, so your bizarre, unfounded fantasy of their intent is nonsensical. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Letter: Why is ‘well-regulated militia’ almost universally overlooked?," 7 Aug. 2019 Conservatives may be preparing to fundamentally change how this country elects its lawmakers without a shred of public discussion or debate about it, at least until such conversations occur. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s Quiet Attack on Redistricting," 19 Aug. 2019 Without spoiling too much, there are developments this season involving Bledel’s Emily and O. T. Fagbenle’s Luke that left me in emotional shreds, enabled by both actors doing astonishing work. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Empty Empowerment of The Handmaid’s Tale," 5 June 2019 In so many ways, France lifting the trophy was one shred of order in this month of so much disruption. Rob Harris, Fox News, "No refuge from politics but France victory a fitting climax," 15 July 2018 What feels so mind-numbingly the same is the NFL’s inability to deal with these incidents with any hint of consistency, any shred of credibility or even one iota of accountability. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "NFL’s system of justice an inconsistent mess," 23 July 2019 What if there’s a tiny shred of possibility Logan is still alive? Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Is That Beloved Veronica Mars Character Really Gone? Here’s Your Only Shred Of Hope," 23 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By the end of another tumultuous day in Parliament, Johnson’s government had been shredded by no fewer than three defeats. Stephen Castle, BostonGlobe.com, "UK opposition lawmakers turn up the heat on Johnson," 4 Sep. 2019 By the end of another tumultuous day in Parliament, Mr. Johnson’s government had been shredded by no fewer than three defeats. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "U.K. Lawmakers Batter Johnson Again, Defying Him on Brexit and Election," 4 Sep. 2019 Many Afghans are nervous that America, in its haste to leave, will shred those interests. The Economist, "America’s long Afghan war nears an end," 3 Sep. 2019 Hurricane winds also will shred the saran canopies growers use to provide shade for the growing plants. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian: Florida farmers and growers recovering from recent storms worried. ‘We’re getting very tired of it’," 30 Aug. 2019 As Montez struggled to find his rhythm and proper footwork throughout the first half, Hill — despite the initial interception — shredded the Buffs’ secondary early on. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Rocky Mountain Showdown: Observations, standout performers from the first half at Mile High Stadium," 30 Aug. 2019 This center provides document shredding, electronics, paint, oil, tire, florescent bulb, and chemical recycling. chicagotribune.com, "Letter: Township road district provides value to residents," 29 Aug. 2019 The Colts shredded the Bengals defense on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in quarterback Chad Kelly’s 7-yard touchdown that gave the Colts at 7-3 lead 5:54 left in the half. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals fall to Indianapolis Colts 13-6 in final preseason game," 29 Aug. 2019 This easy weeknight meal transforms leftover shredded chicken into a spicy meal in about 15 minutes. ExpressNews.com, "Tuesday Recipe: Chicken Tinga Tacos," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shred.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of shred

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for shred

Noun

Middle English shrede, from Old English scrēade; akin to Old High German scrōt piece cut off

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shred

Statistics for shred

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shred

The first known use of shred was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shred

shred

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shred

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, thin piece cut or torn off of something
: a completely ruined condition
: a very small amount of something

shred

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shred (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut or tear (something) into long, thin pieces

shred

noun
\ ˈshred How to pronounce shred (audio) \

Kids Definition of shred

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long narrow piece torn or cut off : strip shreds of cloth
2 : a small amount : bit There is not a shred of evidence.

shred

verb
shredded; shredding

Kids Definition of shred (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut or tear into small pieces

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on shred

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shred

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shred

Spanish Central: Translation of shred

Nglish: Translation of shred for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shred for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shred

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!