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[shurt] /ʃɜrt/
a long- or short-sleeved garment for the upper part of the body, usually lightweight and having a collar and a front opening.
an undergarment of cotton, or other material, for the upper part of the body.
in one's shirt sleeves, without a coat:
It was so hot that they worked in their shirt sleeves.
Also, in one's shirt-sleeves.
keep one's shirt on, Informal. to refrain from becoming angry or impatient; remain calm:
Tell him to keep his shirt on until we're ready.
lose one's shirt, Informal. to lose all that one possesses; suffer a severe financial reverse:
He lost his shirt in the stock market.
Origin of shirt
before 1150; Middle English schirte, Old English scyrte; cognate with German Schürze, Dutch schort apron, Old Norse skyrta skirt
Related forms
shirtless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shirt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "But his sitting there eating in that—that shirt—" said his sister.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Then he stopped, tore off his shirt, and ripped it with his right hand and his teeth into strips.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • It's a shirt and a plain stocking were got off a drowned man in Donegal.

    Riders to the Sea J. M. Synge
  • Diablo reached for him, and lifted the shirt clean off his back.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • All right, then; that letter I wrote is a shirt, and the welkin's the ruffle on it.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for shirt


a garment worn on the upper part of the body, esp by men, usually of light material and typically having a collar and sleeves and buttoning up the front
short for nightshirt, undershirt
(informal) keep your shirt on, refrain from losing your temper (often used as an exhortation to another)
(informal) put one's shirt on, to bet all one has on (a horse, etc)
(informal) lose one's shirt on, to lose all one has on (a horse, etc)
Word Origin
Old English scyrte; related to Old English sceortshort, Old Norse skyrta skirt, Middle High German schurz apron
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 shirt

Old English scyrte "skirt, tunic," from Proto-Germanic *skurtjon "a short garment" (cf. Old Norse skyrta, Swedish skjorta "skirt, kirtle;" Middle Dutch scorte, Dutch schort "apron;" Middle High German schurz, German Schurz "apron"), related to Old English scort, sceort "short," from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

Formerly of the chief garment worn by both sexes, but in modern use long only of that for men; in reference to women's tops, reintroduced 1896. Bloody shirt, exposed as a symbol of outrage, is attested from 1580s. To give (someone) the shirt off one's back is from 1771. To lose one's shirt "suffer total financial loss" is from 1935. To keep one's shirt on "be patient" (1904) is from the notion of (not) stripping down for a fight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shirt
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with shirt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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