Meaning of SHEAR in English


I. ˈshir verb

( sheared ; sheared or shorn ˈshȯrn ; shear·ing )

Etymology: Middle English sheren, from Old English scieran; akin to Old Norse skera to cut, Latin curtus mutilated, curtailed, Greek keirein to cut, shear, Sanskrit kṛnāti he injures

Date: before 12th century

transitive verb


a. : to cut off the hair from

with crown shorn

b. : to cut or clip (as hair or wool) from someone or something ; also : to cut something from

shear a lawn

c. chiefly Scottish : to reap with a sickle

d. : to cut or trim with shears or a similar instrument

2. : to cut with something sharp

3. : to deprive of something as if by cutting

lives shorn of any hope — M. W. Browne


a. : to subject to a shear force

b. : to cause (as a rock mass) to move along the plane of contact

intransitive verb

1. : to cut through something with or as if with a sharp instrument

2. chiefly Scottish : to reap crops with a sickle

3. : to become divided under the action of a shear

the bolt may shear off

• shear·er noun

II. noun

Date: before 12th century



(1) : a cutting implement similar or identical to a pair of scissors but typically larger — usually used in plural

(2) : one blade of a pair of shears

b. : any of various cutting tools or machines operating by the action of opposed cutting edges of metal — usually used in plural


(1) : something resembling a shear or a pair of shears

(2) : a hoisting apparatus consisting of two or sometimes more upright spars fastened together at their upper ends and having tackle for masting or dismasting ships or lifting heavy loads (as guns) — usually used in plural but sing. or plural in constr.

2. chiefly British : the action or process or an instance of shearing — used in combination to indicate the approximate age of sheep in terms of shearings undergone


a. : internal force tangential to the section on which it acts — called also shearing force

b. : an action or stress resulting from applied forces that causes or tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.