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See more synonyms for shirr on Thesaurus.com
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.
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  1. Also shirr·ing. a shirred arrangement, as of cloth.
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Origin of shirr

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

Related Words for shirring

pleat, layer, convolution, corrugation, bend, cockle, gathering, ridge, overlap, ruck, crimp, ruffle, plication, ply, wrinkle, lap, furrow, circumvolution, gather, pucker

Examples from the Web for shirring

Historical Examples of shirring

  • There was not the slightest doubt that all its shirring was of real, real silk!

    In Old Kentucky

    Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey

  • Machine work: Plain stitching, tucking, shirring, bias strips stitched on material.

    The Making of a Trade School

    Mary Schenck Woolman

  • Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown silk ribbon.

  • The shirring string under the crown is pulled up first and the material over-handed to the frame.

  • Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.

    Anne Of Green Gables

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

British Dictionary definitions for shirring


  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
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noun Also: shirring
  1. a series of gathered rows decorating a dress, blouse, etc
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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 shirring



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper