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[shahrd] /ʃɑrd/
a fragment, especially of broken earthenware.
  1. a scale.
  2. 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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shards
  • 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.
  • For instance, wheat grains and pieces of charcoal are often used to date pottery shards found in the same spot.
  • For a step-by-step guide to making homemade chocolate shards, click here.
  • Only a few sad shards of smoke-blackened wall remained standing.
  • When he dips the bomb shards into his purple stuff, the solution will show the proteins left on the improved explosive devices.
  • We are said to be living in an icon-smashing age, but the odd thing is how few shards can be found on the floor.
  • Whirling williwaws blast sheets of water off the ocean, sending shattered shards of spray.
British Dictionary definitions for shards


a broken piece or fragment of a brittle substance, esp of pottery
(zoology) a tough sheath, scale, or shell, esp the elytra of a beetle
Word Origin
Old English sceard; related to Old Norse skarth notch, Middle High German scharte notch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shards



also sherd, Old English sceard "incision, cleft, gap; potshard, a fragment, broken piece," from Proto-Germanic *skardas (cf. Middle Dutch schaerde "a fragment, a crack," Dutch schaard "a flaw, a fragment," German Scharte "a notch," Danish skaar "chink, potsherd"), a past participle from the root of Old English sceran "to cut" (see shear). Meaning "fragment of broken earthenware" developed in late Old English. Used late 14c. as "scale of a dragon." French écharde "prickle, splinter" is a Germanic loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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