a piece cut or torn off, especially in a narrow strip.
a bit; scrap: We haven't got a shred of evidence.

verb (used with object), shred·ded or shred, shred·ding.

to cut or tear into small pieces, especially small strips; reduce to shreds.

verb (used without object), shred·ded or shred, shred·ding.

to be cut up, torn, etc.: The blouse had shredded.

Nearby words

  1. shr.,
  2. shraddha,
  3. shrank,
  4. shrapnel,
  5. shreadhead,
  6. shredded,
  7. shredded wheat,
  8. shredder,
  9. shredding,
  10. shreveport

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shred

British Dictionary definitions for shred



a long narrow strip or fragment torn or cut off
a very small piece or amount; scrap

verb shreds, shredding, shredded or shred

(tr) to tear or cut into shreds
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper