• synonyms


See more synonyms for shard on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fragment, especially of broken earthenware.
  2. Zoology.
    1. a scale.
    2. a shell, as of an egg or snail.
  3. Entomology. an elytron of a beetle.
Show More
Also sherd.

Origin of shard

before 1000; Middle English; Old English sceard; cognate with Low German, Dutch schaard; akin to shear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shard

fragment, remnant, particle, residue, lees, scrap, share, stub, portion, butt, dregs, bit, piece, remainder, side, leaving, ort

Examples from the Web for shard

Contemporary Examples of shard

Historical Examples of shard

  • And, faster and faster still, they crashed into the shard of steel.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • He picked up a shard of rubidium that served as a paper weight and toyed with it.

    The Stutterer

    R.R. Merliss

  • On the floor under where it should have been I caught the flash of light from a shard of glass.

    The Gallery

    Roger Phillips Graham

  • Well, look at the figures and lettering on the shard; you can see those.

    King John of Jingalo

    Laurence Housman

  • Then, as he examined them, he saw that the shard and the four films had been changed.

    King John of Jingalo

    Laurence Housman

British Dictionary definitions for shard



  1. a broken piece or fragment of a brittle substance, esp of pottery
  2. zoology a tough sheath, scale, or shell, esp the elytra of a beetle
Show More

Word Origin for shard

Old English sceard; related to Old Norse skarth notch, Middle High German scharte notch
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 shard


also sherd, Old English sceard "incision, cleft, gap; potshard, a fragment, broken piece," from Proto-Germanic *skardas (cf. Middle Dutch schaerde "a fragment, a crack," Dutch schaard "a flaw, a fragment," German Scharte "a notch," Danish skaar "chink, potsherd"), a past participle from the root of Old English sceran "to cut" (see shear). Meaning "fragment of broken earthenware" developed in late Old English. Used late 14c. as "scale of a dragon." French écharde "prickle, splinter" is a Germanic loan-word.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper