[ shahrd ]
/ ʃɑrd /


a fragment, especially of broken earthenware.
  1. a scale.
  2. a shell, as of an egg or snail.
Entomology. an elytron of a beetle.

Nearby words

  1. shapley, harlow,
  2. shar pei,
  3. shar-pei,
  4. shara,
  5. sharaku,
  6. shardana,
  7. share,
  8. share account,
  9. share and share alike,
  10. share certificate

Also sherd.

Origin of shard

before 1000; Middle English; Old English sceard; cognate with Low German, Dutch schaard; akin to shear Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shard

British Dictionary definitions for shard



/ (ʃɑːd) /


a broken piece or fragment of a brittle substance, esp of pottery
zoology a tough sheath, scale, or shell, esp the elytra of a beetle

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper