the front part of the leg from the knee to the ankle.
the lower part of the foreleg in cattle.
the shinbone or tibia, especially its sharp edge or front portion.
Chiefly British. a cut of beef similar to the U.S. shank, usually cut into small pieces for stewing.

verb (used with or without object), shinned, shin·ning.

to climb by holding fast with the hands or arms and legs and drawing oneself up.

Origin of shin

before 1000; Middle English shine, Old English scinu; cognate with Dutch scheen, German Schien(bein)


[sheen, shin]


the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
the consonant sound represented by this letter.

Origin of shin

1895–1900; < Hebrew shīn, akin to shēn tooth




the 13th letter of the Arabic alphabet.

Origin of shīn

From Arabic


[shin, sheen]

noun Buddhism.

a Japanese offshoot of the Pure Land Sect, requiring only faith in Amida for salvation through his accumulated merit.

Origin of Shin

1895–1900; < Japanese: literally, faith < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese zhēn truth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shin

Contemporary Examples of shin

Historical Examples of shin

  • Then, in sudden viciousness, Link kicked out, taking Dave in the shin.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • "We'll make 'em pay for that shin," says he, with a kind of it's-coming-to-us grin.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • His heel lashed back and caught the shin of the man behind him.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • John's shin was badly bruised, and Perry Alford had wrenched his ankle.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • Why, how you tore your pants; and your shin 's a bleeding, too.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

British Dictionary definitions for shin




the front part of the lower leg
the front edge of the tibia
mainly British a cut of beef, the lower foreleg

verb shins, shinning or shinned

(when intr, often foll by up) to climb (a pole, tree, etc) by gripping with the hands or arms and the legs and hauling oneself up
(tr) to kick (a person) in the shins

Word Origin for shin

Old English scinu; related to Old High German scina needle, Norwegian dialect skina small disc




the 21st letter in the Hebrew alphabet (ש), transliterated as sh

Word Origin for shin

from Hebrew shīn, literally: tooth
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 shin

Old English scinu "shin, fore part of the lower leg," from Proto-Germanic *skino "thin piece" (cf. Dutch scheen, Old High German scina, German Schienbein "shin, shinbones"), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split" (see shed (v.)). Shin splints is attested from 1930.


"to climb by using arms and legs" (originally a nautical word), 1829, from shin (n.). Related: Shinned; shinning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for shin




The front part of the leg located below the knee and above the ankle.
The tibia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.