verb (used with object)
  1. to draw up or gather (cloth or the like) on three or more parallel threads.
  2. to bake (eggs removed from the shell) in a shallow dish or in individual dishes.
  1. Also shirr·ing. a shirred arrangement, as of cloth.

Origin of shirr

First recorded in 1840–50; origin uncertain
Related formsun·shirred, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shirred

Historical Examples of shirred

  • She shirred and sewed together a piece of cloth about three yards around.

  • Melon or berries, broiled ham, shirred eggs, creamed potatoes.

  • Then a small heading is made on one side of the strip that is to be shirred.

  • When Hennessy heard of it he shirred his mouth into a pucker and whistled ecstatically.


    Ruth Sawyer

  • He shirred his lips into an ecstatic pucker and whistled triumphantly.


    Ruth Sawyer

British Dictionary definitions for shirred


  1. to gather (fabric) into two or more parallel rows to decorate a dress, blouse, etc, often using elastic thread
  2. (tr) to bake (eggs) out of their shells
noun Also: shirring
  1. a series of gathered rows decorating a dress, blouse, etc

Word Origin for shirr

C19: of unknown origin
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 shirred



"to gather (cloth) on parallel threads," 1860 (implied in shirring), back-formation from shirred (1847), from shirr (n.) "elastic webbing," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper