[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. shirley poppy,
  2. shirley temple,
  3. shirley, james,
  4. shirley, william,
  5. shirr,
  6. shirt front,
  7. shirt jacket,
  8. shirt-dress,
  9. shirt-lifter,
  10. shirt-sleeve


Origin of shirt

before 1150; Middle English schirte, Old English scyrte; cognate with German Schürze, Dutch schort apron, Old Norse skyrta skirt

Related formsshirt·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lose one's shirt


/ (ʃɜːt) /


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
keep your shirt on informal refrain from losing your temper (often used as an exhortation to another)
put one's shirt on informal to bet all one has on (a horse, etc)
lose one's shirt on informal to lose all one has on (a horse, etc)

Word Origin for shirt

Old English scyrte; related to Old English sceort short, 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

Word Origin and History for lose one's 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

Idioms and Phrases with lose one's shirt

lose one's shirt

Face financial ruin, go bankrupt, as in He lost his shirt in the last recession. This expression implies one has lost even one's shirt. [Early 1900s]


see give the shirt off one's back; hair shirt; keep one's shirt on; lose one's shirt; stuffed shirt.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.