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See more synonyms for shin on Thesaurus.com
  1. the front part of the leg from the knee to the ankle.
  2. the lower part of the foreleg in cattle.
  3. the shinbone or tibia, especially its sharp edge or front portion.
  4. Chiefly British. a cut of beef similar to the U.S. shank, usually cut into small pieces for stewing.
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verb (used with or without object), shinned, shin·ning.
  1. to climb by holding fast with the hands or arms and legs and drawing oneself up.
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Origin of shin1

before 1000; Middle English shine, Old English scinu; cognate with Dutch scheen, German Schien(bein)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shinning

Historical Examples

  • Shinning was not my customary attitude, but it was not mine 'to make reply.'

    The Affair at the Inn

    Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • The nutlets which follow are brown, shinning and somewhat wrinkled.

    Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants

    A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding

  • Up the wall, by means of cracks and tufts, was shinning a small boy.


    John Buchan

  • So Tom laid his bones to it, shinning up as fast as he could and dragging up his rod after him.

    The Ontario Readers

    Ontario Ministry of Education

  • He had figured on grabbing one of the guns and shinning up to the friendly crotch, there to despatch his foe at leisure.

British Dictionary definitions for shinning


  1. the front part of the lower leg
  2. the front edge of the tibia
  3. mainly British a cut of beef, the lower foreleg
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verb shins, shinning or shinned
  1. (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
  2. (tr) to kick (a person) in the shins
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Word Origin

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


  1. the 21st letter in the Hebrew alphabet (ש), transliterated as sh
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Word Origin

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 shinning



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

shinning in Medicine


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