• synonyms


[shey-vuh n]
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  1. a past participle of shave.
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  1. closely trimmed.
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Related formsun·shav·en, adjective


verb (used without object), shaved, shaved or (especially in combination) shav·en, shav·ing.
  1. to remove a growth of beard with a razor.
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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).
  3. to cut or scrape away the surface of with a sharp-edged tool: to shave hides in preparing leather.
  4. to reduce to shavings or thin slices: to shave wood.
  5. to cut or trim closely: to shave a lawn.
  6. to scrape, graze, or come very near to: The car just shaved the garage door.
  7. Commerce. to purchase (a note) at a rate of discount greater than is legal or customary.
  8. to reduce or deduct from: The store shaved the price of winter suits in the spring.
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  1. the act, process, or an instance of shaving or being shaved.
  2. a thin slice; a shaving.
  3. any of various tools for shaving, scraping, removing thin slices, etc.
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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.
Related formsshav·a·ble, shave·a·ble, adjectivere·shave, verb re·shaved, re·shav·ing.un·shav·a·ble, adjectiveun·shave·a·ble, adjectiveun·shaved, adjectivewell-shaved, adjective

Synonyms for shave

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shaven

trim, pare, kiss, shred, skim, brush, slash, shear, prune, cut, peel, clip, strip, decorticate, crop, graze, plane, barber, skin, touch

Examples from the Web for shaven

Historical Examples of shaven

  • He was very fat, with a shaven, swarthy face and the dewlap of an ox.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I conceived a contempt for that shaven, scrawny skipper––I remember it well.

  • "The babies of frogs will become but frogs," said one shaven pate, laughing.

    Japanese Fairy World

    William Elliot Griffis

  • On his shaven head he wore a small skull-cap of plaited grass.

  • A greasy growth of beard was sprouting on the shaven parts of the cheeks.

British Dictionary definitions for shaven


    1. closely shaved or tonsured
    2. (in combination)clean-shaven
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verb shaves, 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
  3. to reduce to shavings
  4. to remove thin slices from (wood, etc) with a sharp cutting tool; plane or pare
  5. to touch or graze in passing
  6. informal to reduce (a price) by a slight amount
  7. US commerce to purchase (a commercial paper) at a greater rate of discount than is customary or legal
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  1. the act or an instance of shaving
  2. any tool for scraping
  3. a thin slice or shaving
  4. an instance of barely touching something
  5. close shave informal a narrow escape
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Derived Formsshavable or shaveable, adjective

Word Origin for shave

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



Old English sceafan (strong verb, past tense scof, past participle scafen), "to scrape, shave, polish," from Proto-Germanic *skaban (cf. Old Norse skafa, Middle Dutch scaven, German schaben, Gothic skaban "scratch, shave, scrape"), from PIE *skabh-, collateral form of root *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (see scabies). Related: Shaved; shaving. Original strong verb status is preserved in past tense form shaven. Specifically in reference to cutting the hair close from mid-13c. Figurative sense of "to strip (someone) of money or possessions" is attested from late 14c.

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c.1600, "something shaved off;" from shave (v.); Old English sceafa meant "tool for shaving." Meaning "operation of shaving" is from 1838. Meaning "a grazing touch" is recorded from 1834. Phrase a close shave is from 1856, on notion of "a slight, grazing touch."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shaven


see close call (shave).

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