[ sheyv ]
See synonyms for: shaveshavenshaving on

verb (used without object),shaved, shaved or (especially in combination) shav·en, shav·ing.
  1. to remove a growth of beard with a razor.

verb (used with object),shaved, shaved or (especially in combination) shav·en, shav·ing.
  1. to remove hair from (the face, legs, etc.) by cutting it off close to the skin with a razor.

  2. to cut off (hair, especially the beard) close to the skin with a razor (often followed by off or away).

  1. to cut or scrape away the surface of with a sharp-edged tool: to shave hides in preparing leather.

  2. to reduce to shavings or thin slices: to shave wood.

  3. to cut or trim closely: to shave a lawn.

  4. to scrape, graze, or come very near to: The car just shaved the garage door.

  5. Commerce. to purchase (a note) at a rate of discount greater than is legal or customary.

  6. to reduce or deduct from: The store shaved the price of winter suits in the spring.

  1. the act, process, or an instance of shaving or being shaved.

  2. a thin slice; a shaving.

  1. any of various tools for shaving, scraping, removing thin slices, etc.

Origin of shave

before 900; (v.) Middle English schaven, schafen,Old English sc(e)afan; cognate with Dutch schaven to plane (a plank), abrade (the skin), Low German schaven,German schaben,Old Norse skafa to scrape, Gothic skaban to shear, shave; (noun) Middle English schave tool for shaving, Old English sc(e)afa, derivative of the v.

Other words for shave

Other words from shave

  • shav·a·ble, shave·a·ble, adjective
  • re·shave, verb re·shaved, re·shav·ing.
  • un·shav·a·ble, adjective
  • un·shave·a·ble, adjective
  • un·shaved, adjective
  • well-shaved, adjective

Words Nearby shave Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shave in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shave


/ (ʃeɪv) /

verbshaves, shaving, shaved, shaved or shaven (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to remove (the beard, hair, etc) from (the face, head, or body) by scraping the skin with a razor

  2. to cut or trim very closely

  1. to reduce to shavings

  2. to remove thin slices from (wood, etc) with a sharp cutting tool; plane or pare

  3. to touch or graze in passing

  4. informal to reduce (a price) by a slight amount

  5. US commerce to purchase (a commercial paper) at a greater rate of discount than is customary or legal

  1. the act or an instance of shaving

  2. any tool for scraping

  1. a thin slice or shaving

  2. an instance of barely touching something

  3. close shave informal a narrow escape

Origin of shave

Old English sceafan; related to Old Norse skafa, Gothic skaban to shave, Latin scabere to scrape

Derived forms of shave

  • shavable or shaveable, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with shave


see close call (shave).

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