shear

[sheer]

verb (used with object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shear·ing.

verb (used without object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shear·ing.

noun


Origin of shear

before 900; (v.) Middle English sheren, Old English sceran, cognate with Dutch, German scheren, Old Norse skera; (noun) (in sense “tool for shearing”) Middle English sheres (plural), continuing Old English scērero, scēar, two words derived from the same root as the v.
Related formsshear·er, nounshear·less, adjective
Can be confusedshear sheer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for shears

scissors, pruner, snippers

Examples from the Web for shears

Contemporary Examples of shears

  • A good pair of shears should be heavy and sharp; this pair, which I use, is both.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The 2012 Holiday Kitchen Gift Guide

    Megan McArdle

    December 13, 2012

  • And no, he did not come to clients' homes himself with a pair of shears to do the snipping to their personal specifications.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Balmain's Big Rip-Off

    Robin Givhan

    April 6, 2011

Historical Examples of shears

  • She could feel the shears against her hair, and she was so scared she swore like he told her.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Hubertine had taken up the shears to remodel one of the pieces of vellum.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • She knew that Coupeau was jealous enough to attack Lantier with his shears.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Put the finger, protected by the cardboard, between the two points of the shears.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • Shears for cutting tin and metal have long handles and short blades.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne


British Dictionary definitions for shears

shears

pl n

  1. large scissors, as for cutting cloth, jointing poultry, etc
  2. a large scissor-like and usually hand-held cutting tool with flat blades, as for cutting hedges
any of various analogous cutting or clipping implements or machines
short for sheerlegs
off the shears Australian informal (of a sheep) newly shorn

shear

verb shears, shearing or sheared or Australian and NZ shore, sheared or shorn

(tr) to remove (the fleece or hair) of (sheep, etc) by cutting or clipping
to cut or cut through (something) with shears or a sharp instrument
engineering to cause (a part, member, shaft, etc) to deform or fracture or (of a part, etc) to deform or fracture as a result of excess torsion or transverse load
(tr often foll by of) to strip or divestto shear someone of his power
(when intr, foll by through) to move through (something) by or as if by cutting
Scot to reap (corn, etc) with a scythe or sickle

noun

the act, process, or an instance of shearing
a shearing of a sheep or flock of sheep, esp when referred to as an indication of agea sheep of two shears
a form of deformation or fracture in which parallel planes in a body or assembly slide over one another
physics the deformation of a body, part, etc, expressed as the lateral displacement between two points in parallel planes divided by the distance between the planes
either one of the blades of a pair of shears, scissors, etc
a machine that cuts sheet material by passing a knife blade through it
a device for lifting heavy loads consisting of a tackle supported by a framework held steady by guy ropes
See also shears, shore 3
Derived Formsshearer, noun

Word Origin for shear

Old English sceran; related to Old Norse skera to cut, Old Saxon, Old High German skeran to shear; see share ²
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 shears
n.

"large scissors," Old English scearra (plural) "shears, scissors," from Proto-Germanic *sker- "to cut" (cf. Middle Dutch schaer, Old High German scara, German Schere; see shear (v.)). In 17c., also "a device for raising the masts of ships" (1620s). As "scissors," OED labels it Scottish and dialectal. Chalk is no shears (1640s) was noted as a Scottish proverb expressing the gap between planning and doing.

shear

v.

Old English sceran, scieran (class IV strong verb; past tense scear, past participle scoren) "to cleave, hew, cut with a sharp instrument; cut (hair); shear (sheep)," from Proto-Germanic *sker- "to cut" (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian skera, Dutch scheren, German scheren "to shear"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (cf. Sanskrit krnati "hurts, wounds, kills," krntati "cuts;" Hittite karsh- "to cut off;" Greek keirein "to cut, shear;" Latin curtus "short;" Lithuanian skiriu "to separate;" Old Irish scaraim "I separate;" Welsh ysgar "to separate," ysgyr "fragment").

shear

n.

"act of clipping," 1610s, also as a unit of measure of the age of a sheep, from shear (v.). Scientific and mechanical sense "type of strain" is from 1850.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

shears in Science

shear

[shîr]

A force, movement or pressure applied to an object perpendicular to a given axis, with greater value on one side of the axis than the other. See more at shear force stress strain.
See skew.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.