shard

[shahrd]
noun
1.
a fragment, especially of broken earthenware.
2.
Zoology.
a.
a scale.
b.
a shell, as of an egg or snail.
3.
Entomology. an elytron of a beetle.
Also, sherd.


Origin:
before 1000; Middle English; Old English sceard; cognate with Low German, Dutch schaard; akin to shear

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World English Dictionary
shard or sherd (ʃɑːd)
 
n
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
 
n
 
[Old English sceard; related to Old Norse skarth notch, Middle High German scharte notch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shard
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
Bleeding, barefooted, over the shards and thorns of existence.
Ceiling panels are divided into jagged shards, and pieces of wall jut out or
  recede.
The clay is dried and strengthened by adding finely pulverized pottery shards
  before pots are shaped, painted and fired.
Shards of pottery of an undetermined age litter what might have been a kiln
  area.
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