a fragment, especially of broken earthenware.
a scale.
a shell, as of an egg or snail.
Entomology. an elytron of a beetle.
Also, sherd.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English sceard; cognate with Low German, Dutch schaard; akin to shear Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shard or sherd (ʃɑːd)
1.  a broken piece or fragment of a brittle substance, esp of pottery
2.  zoology a tough sheath, scale, or shell, esp the elytra of a beetle
[Old English sceard; related to Old Norse skarth notch, Middle High German scharte notch]
sherd or sherd
[Old English sceard; related to Old Norse skarth notch, Middle High German scharte notch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sceard "fragment, gap," from P.Gmc. *skardas, a pp. from the root of O.E. sceran "to cut" (see shear). Cf. Du. schaard "a flaw, a fragment," Ger. Scharte "a notch," Dan. skaar "chink, potsherd." Meaning "fragment of broken earthenware" developed in late O.E. Fr. écharde
"prickle, splinter" is a Gmc. loan-word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Not one more shard of ice need melt to make this a reality.
The claims that do survive the skeptical scrutiny of the tribe get to take
  their place in the shard body of scientific knowledge.
She felt sure that a shard of hers had gone missing.
The impeccably made lion holds a little diamond shard in his fierce mouth.
Related Words
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