What does shear mean?

Definitions for shear

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shear.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shearnoun

    (physics) a deformation of an object in which parallel planes remain parallel but are shifted in a direction parallel to themselves

    "the shear changed the quadrilateral into a parallelogram"

  2. shearverb

    a large edge tool that cuts sheet metal by passing a blade through it

  3. shearverb

    cut with shears

    "shear hedges"

  4. fleece, shearverb

    shear the wool from

    "shear sheep"

  5. shearverb

    cut or cut through with shears

    "shear the wool off the lamb"

  6. shearverb

    become deformed by forces tending to produce a shearing strain


  1. shearnoun

    a cutting tool similar to scissors, but often larger

  2. shearnoun

    the act of shearing, or something removed by shearing

  3. shearnoun

    a force that produces a shearing strain

  4. shearverb

    To cut, originally with a sword or other bladed weapon, now usually with shears, or as if using shears.

  5. shearverb

    To remove the fleece from a sheep etc by clipping

  6. shearverb

    To deform because of shearing forces

  7. Etymology: From scieran, from skeranan, from ker-. Cognate with Dutch scheren, German scheren, Norwegian skjære, Swedish skära; and (from Indo-European) with Ancient Greek κείρω, Latin caro, Albanian harr, Lithuanian skìrti, Welsh ysgar.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Shear

    preter. shore, or sheared; part. pass. shorn.

    Etymology: scearan, scyren , Saxon.

    So many days, my ews have been with young;
    So many weeks, e’re the poor fools will yean;
    So many months, e’re I shall sheer the fleece. William Shakespeare.

    I am shepherd to another man,
    And do not sheer the fleeces that I graze. William Shakespeare.

    Laban went to sheer his sheep. Gen. xxxi. 19.

    When wool is new shorn, they set pails of water by in the same room to increase its weight. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    To lay my head and hollow pledge
    Of all my strength, in the lascivious lap
    Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me,
    Like a tame weather, all my precious fleece. John Milton.

    The same ill taste of sense wou’d serve to join
    Dog foxes in the yoak, and sheer the swine. Dryden.

    May’st thou henceforth sweetly sleep,
    Sheer, swains, oh sheer your softest sheep
    To swell his couch. John Gay.

    O’er the congenial dust injoin’d to shear
    The graceful curl, and drop the tender tear. Alexander Pope.

    The sharp and toothed edge of the nether chap strikes into a canal cut into the bone of the upper; and the toothed protuberance of the upper into a canal in the nether: by which means he easily sheers the grass whereon he feeds. Nehemiah Grew.

  2. Shear, Shearsnoun

    It is seldom used in the singular, but is found once in Dryden.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Alas, thought Philoclea to herself, your sheers come too late to clip the bird’s wings that already is flown away. Philip Sidney.

    Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
    Think you I bear the shears of destiny?
    Have I commandment on the pulse of life? William Shakespeare.

    The fates prepar’d their sharpen’d sheers. Dryd.

    When the fleece is shorn,
    Then their defenceless limbs the brambles tear;
    Short of their wool, and naked from the sheer. Dryden.

    That people live and die, I knew,
    An hour ago, as well as you;
    And if fate spins us longer years,
    Or is in haste to take the sheers,
    I know, we must both fortunes try,
    And bear our evils, wet or dry. Matthew Prior.

    How happy should we be if we had the privilege of employing the sheers for want of a mint, upon foreign gold, by clipping it into half crowns. Jonathan Swift.

    Fate urg’d the sheers and cut the sylph in twain,
    But airy substance soon unites again. Alexander Pope.

    Beneath the shears they felt no lasting smart,
    They lost but fleeces, while I lost a heart. John Gay.

    When sheep is one shear, they will have two broad teeth before; when two shear, four; when three, six; when four, eight: and after that, their mouths break. John Mortimer.

    Two sharp-wing’d sheers
    Deck’d with divers plumes, like painted jays,
    Were fix’d at his back to cut his airy ways. Edmund Spenser.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shearverb

    to cut, clip, or sever anything from with shears or a like instrument; as, to shear sheep; to shear cloth

  2. Shearverb

    to separate or sever with shears or a similar instrument; to cut off; to clip (something) from a surface; as, to shear a fleece

  3. Shearverb

    to reap, as grain

  4. Shearverb

    fig.: To deprive of property; to fleece

  5. Shearverb

    to produce a change of shape in by a shear. See Shear, n., 4

  6. Shearverb

    a pair of shears; -- now always used in the plural, but formerly also in the singular. See Shears

  7. Shearverb

    a shearing; -- used in designating the age of sheep

  8. Shearverb

    an action, resulting from applied forces, which tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact; -- also called shearing stress, and tangential stress

  9. Shearverb

    a strain, or change of shape, of an elastic body, consisting of an extension in one direction, an equal compression in a perpendicular direction, with an unchanged magnitude in the third direction

  10. Shearverb

    to deviate. See Sheer

  11. Shearverb

    to become more or less completely divided, as a body under the action of forces, by the sliding of two contiguous parts relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact

  12. Etymology: [OE. sheren, scheren, to shear, cut, shave, AS. sceran, scieran, scyran; akin to D. & G. scheren, Icel. skera, Dan. skire, Gr. . Cf. Jeer, Score, Shard, Share, Sheer to turn aside.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shear

    shēr, v.t. to cut or clip: to clip with shears or any other instrument: (Scot.) to reap with a sickle.—v.i. to separate, cut, penetrate: in mining, to make a vertical cut in the coal:—pa.t. sheared, (obs.) shore; pa.p. sheared or shorn.—n. a shearing or clipping: a strain where compression is answered by elongation at right angles: curve, deviation.—ns. Shear′-bill, the scissor-bill, cut-water, or black skimmer; Shear′er; Shear′-hog, a sheep after the first shearing; Shear′ing, the act or operation of cutting with shears: what is cut off with shears: (Scot.) the time of reaping: the process of preparing shear-steel: (geol.) the process by which shear-structure (q.v.) has been produced; Shear′ling, a sheep only once sheared; Shear′man, one whose occupation is to shear cloth; Shears (pl. and sing.), an instrument for shearing or cutting, consisting of two blades that meet each other: a hoisting apparatus (see Sheers): anything resembling shears, as even a pair of wings (Spens.); Shear′-steel, steel suitable for the manufacture of shears and other edge-tools; Shear′-struc′ture (geol.), a structure often seen in volcanic rocks, due to the reciprocal compression and elongation of various parts under great crust movements; Shear′-wa′ter, a genus of oceanic birds allied to the petrels, and varying from 8½ to 14 inches in length. [A.S. sceran; Ice. skera, to clip, Ger. scheren, to shave.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shear

    An iron spear, of three or more points, for catching eels.

Suggested Resources

  1. Shear

    Shear vs. Sheer -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Shear and Sheer.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SHEAR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shear is ranked #9669 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shear surname appeared 3,356 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Shear.

    93% or 3,122 total occurrences were White.
    2.3% or 78 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.1% or 71 total occurrences were Black.
    1.4% or 47 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 28 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 10 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for shear »

  1. Asher

  2. asher

  3. earsh

  4. hares

  5. harse

  6. hears

  7. rheas

  8. share

How to pronounce shear?

How to say shear in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shear in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shear in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of shear in a Sentence

  1. Dan Kottlowski:

    The hurricane remains in a very favorable environment for further intensification, including low vertical wind shear, deep moist unstable air and warm water.

  2. Phil Klotzbach:

    Climatologically, what ends your hurricane season is too much wind shear, so La Niña tends to prolong the hurricane season since it tends to reduce shear, of course, last year is an example of La Niña prolonging the season... on steroids !

  3. Phil Klotzbach:

    One reason for( the) reduction in Atlantic seasonal hurricane forecast from Colorado State University is due to development of below-normal sea surface temperatures in subtropical Atlantic, when the subtropical Atlantic is cooler than normal, it can sometimes favor increased shear in the tropical Atlantic.

  4. The Arx Pax patent:

    In an earthquake, a construction platform floating on a buffer medium may experience greatly reduced shear forces, in a flood, a construction platform floating on a buffer medium can be configured to rise as water levels rise to limit flood damage.

  5. David Robinson:

    When dust veils like this occur, they tend to put a lid on atmospheric convection over areas favorable for tropical storm development, add to this the impact of the El Nio, which favors stronger-than-average winds across the Atlantic basin-- which tend to shear apart any rising motion -- and you have a recipe for a below-average hurricane season.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shear

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • قصArabic
  • stříhat, ostříhat, ustřihnoutCzech
  • schneiden, scheren, abschneidenGerman
  • distorsionar, tundir, esquilar, tonsurar, cortar, cizallar, cizalla, cizalladoSpanish
  • کوتاه کردنPersian
  • keritä, leikkausvoima, leikata, leikkuu, leike, keritsimet, leikkaus, viiltää, leikkautuaFinnish
  • cisaillement, tonte, tondaison, cisailles, cisaille, cisailler, tondre, couper, tondeuseFrench
  • lomIrish
  • vág, megnyír, levágHungarian
  • memotongIndonesian
  • cizagarIdo
  • tosare, tagliareItalian
  • 剪断, 切る, 刈るJapanese
  • cirptLatvian
  • kutikutiMāori
  • afsnijden, scheren, afschuiven, afschuifkracht, knippenDutch
  • bøylesaks, klipp, klippeNorwegian
  • ścinać, strzyc, ścinanie, ciąćPolish
  • tosar, poda, cortar, tosquiar, cisalharPortuguese
  • tundeRomanian
  • стричь, резатьRussian
  • извити, strigati, исећи, iseći, стригати, izvitiSerbo-Croatian
  • kırkmakTurkish

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"shear." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shear>.

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    an unpleasant or disastrous destiny
    • A. doom
    • B. jeopardize
    • C. interrupt
    • D. inspire

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