[ shurk ]
See synonyms for: shirkshirking on

verb (used with object)
  1. to evade (work, duty, responsibility, etc.).

verb (used without object)
  1. to evade work, duty, etc.


Origin of shirk

First recorded in 1625–35; obscurely akin to shark2

Other words for shirk

Other words from shirk

  • un·shirked, adjective
  • un·shirk·ing, adjective

Words Nearby shirk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shirk in a sentence

  • “Congress must not shirk its responsibilities,” the White House said in a statement.

  • Tom held to his strange belief to 'Let it all come,' he would not try to prevent; he would neither shirk nor dodge.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
  • You'll work your passage back to fitness quicker than an arm ever did before, you pale-faced shirk!

    Red Pepper Burns | Grace S. Richmond
  • He patted Dorothy on the shoulder and would not permit her to shirk his praise.

    Hidden Gold | Wilder Anthony
  • The situation was a critical one, but Steve's was not a nature to shirk responsibilities or shun sacrifices.

    The Gentle Art of Cooking Wives | Elizabeth Strong Worthington
  • Evelyn was fairly good at school; it was not, she considered, worth her while any longer to 322 shirk her lessons.

    A Very Naughty Girl | L. T. Meade

British Dictionary definitions for shirk (1 of 2)


/ (ʃɜːk) /

  1. to avoid discharging (work, a duty, etc); evade

nounAlso: shirker
  1. a person who shirks

Origin of shirk

C17: probably from German Schurke rogue; see shark ²

British Dictionary definitions for shirk (2 of 2)


/ (ʃɪːk) /

  1. Islam

    • the fundamental sin of regarding anything as equal to Allah

    • any belief that is considered to be in opposition to Allah and Islam

Origin of shirk

from Arabic: association

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