verb (used with object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shear·ing.
verb (used without object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shear·ing.
- scissors of large size (usually used with pair of).
- any of various other cutting implements or machines having two blades that resemble or suggest those of scissors.
- shea nut,
- shea tree,
- shear force,
- shear legs,
- shear modulus,
- shear pin,
- shear strain
Origin of shear
Examples from the Web for shears
A good pair of shears should be heavy and sharp; this pair, which I use, is both.
And no, he did not come to clients' homes himself with a pair of shears to do the snipping to their personal specifications.
They worked together at quarter and center like a pair of shears.Bert Wilson on the Gridiron|J. W. Duffield
My mother and my aunt set to work with shears and needles and built me a suit of clothes out of the brown overcoat.The Iron Puddler|James J. Davis
As the beautiful roses fell beneath his shears, Mary caught up a tiny red rosebud.Mostly Mary|Mary Edward Feehan
The machine-shearing saves much wool, as it gets closer to the skin of the sheep and shears more evenly.Textiles|William H. Dooley
Mr. Austin Gilett passed in the company of two men whom Shears recognized as members of the English detective-force.The Blonde Lady|Maurice Leblanc
- large scissors, as for cutting cloth, jointing poultry, etc
- a large scissor-like and usually hand-held cutting tool with flat blades, as for cutting hedges
verb shears, shearing or sheared or Australian and NZ shore, sheared or shorn
Word Origin for shear
"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.
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").
"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.