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[shur] /ʃɜr/
verb (used with object)
to draw up or gather (cloth or the like) on three or more parallel threads.
to bake (eggs removed from the shell) in a shallow dish or in individual dishes.
Also, shirring. a shirred arrangement, as of cloth.
Origin of shirr
First recorded in 1840-50; origin uncertain
Related forms
unshirred, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shirred
Historical Examples
  • She shirred and sewed together a piece of cloth about three yards around.

  • Melon or berries, broiled ham, shirred eggs, creamed potatoes.

  • Then a small heading is made on one side of the strip that is to be shirred.

  • When Hennessy heard of it he shirred his mouth into a pucker and whistled ecstatically.

    Leerie Ruth Sawyer
  • He shirred his lips into an ecstatic pucker and whistled triumphantly.

    Leerie Ruth Sawyer
  • shirred eggs are usually served in the individual dishes they are baked in.

  • Una saw that it was lined with shirred red satin and had red tassels.

    Rainbow Valley Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • When you shirred them you would hold them over the first and third finger passing under the second finger.

  • A shirred silk workbag hung at her side, and she carried a tiny parasol.

    Patty's Friends Carolyn Wells
  • It was made of thin green silk, shirred on pieces of rattan or whalebone, placed two or three inches apart.

    Abigail Adams and Her Times

    Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards
British Dictionary definitions for shirred


to gather (fabric) into two or more parallel rows to decorate a dress, blouse, etc, often using elastic thread
(transitive) to bake (eggs) out of their shells
a series of gathered rows decorating a dress, blouse, etc
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shirred



"to gather (cloth) on parallel threads," 1860 (implied in shirring), back-formation from shirred (1847), from shirr (n.) "elastic webbing," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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