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.
Origin of shear
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 2012 Holiday Kitchen Gift Guide
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.Balmain's Big Rip-Off
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
She knew that Coupeau was jealous enough to attack Lantier with his shears.L'Assommoir
Put the finger, protected by the cardboard, between the two points of the shears.
Shears for cutting tin and metal have long handles and short blades.
- 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.