• synonyms


See more synonyms for shred on Thesaurus.com
  1. a piece cut or torn off, especially in a narrow strip.
  2. a bit; scrap: We haven't got a shred of evidence.
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verb (used with object), shred·ded or shred, shred·ding.
  1. to cut or tear into small pieces, especially small strips; reduce to shreds.
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verb (used without object), shred·ded or shred, shred·ding.
  1. to be cut up, torn, etc.: The blouse had shredded.
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Origin of shred

before 1000; (noun) Middle English schrede, Old English scrēade; cognate with Old Norse skrjōthr worn-out book, German Schrot chips; (v.) Middle English schreden, Old English scrēadian to pare, trim; akin to shroud; cf. screed
Related formsshred·less, adjectiveshred·like, adjectiveun·shred·ded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shred

speck, fragment, snippet, modicum, whit, smidgen, iota, sliver, ounce, tear, shave, rag, jot, stitch, trace, scintilla, particle, part, grain, shadow

Examples from the Web for shred

Contemporary Examples of shred

Historical Examples of shred

British Dictionary definitions for shred


  1. a long narrow strip or fragment torn or cut off
  2. a very small piece or amount; scrap
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verb shreds, shredding, shredded or shred
  1. (tr) to tear or cut into shreds
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Derived Formsshredder, noun

Word Origin for shred

Old English scread; related to Old Norse skrjōthr torn-up book, Old High German scrōt cut-off piece; see scroll, shroud, screed
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 shred


Old English screade "piece cut off, cutting, scrap," from West Germanic *skrauth- (cf. Old Frisian skred "a cutting, clipping," Middle Dutch schroode "shred," Middle Low German schrot "piece cut off," Old High German scrot, "scrap, shred, a cutting, piece cut off," German Schrot ""log, block, small shot"," Old Norse skrydda "shriveled skin"), from PIE *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool," extension of root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

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Old English screadian "to peel, prune, cut off," from Proto-Germanic *skrauth- (cf. Middle Dutch scroden, Dutch schroeien, Old High German scrotan, German schroten "to shred"), from root of shred (n.). Meaning "cut or tear into shreds" is from 1610s. Related: Shredded; shredding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper