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shear

[sheer] /ʃɪər/
verb (used with object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shearing.
1.
to cut (something).
2.
to remove by or as if by cutting or clipping with a sharp instrument:
to shear wool from sheep.
3.
to cut or clip the hair, fleece, wool, etc., from:
to shear sheep.
4.
to strip or deprive (usually followed by of):
to shear someone of power.
5.
Chiefly Scot. to reap with a sickle.
6.
to travel through by or as if by cutting:
Chimney swifts sheared the air.
verb (used without object), sheared, sheared or shorn, shearing.
7.
to cut or cut through something with a sharp instrument.
8.
to progress by or as if by cutting:
The cruiser sheared through the water.
9.
Mechanics, Geology. to become fractured along a plane as a result of forces acting parallel to the plane.
10.
Chiefly Scot. to reap crops with a sickle.
noun
11.
Usually, shears. (sometimes used with a singular verb)
  1. scissors of large size (usually used with pair of).
  2. any of various other cutting implements or machines having two blades that resemble or suggest those of scissors.
12.
the act or process of shearing or being sheared.
13.
a shearing of sheep (used in stating the age of sheep):
a sheep of one shear.
14.
the quantity, especially of wool or fleece, cut off at one shearing.
15.
one blade of a pair of large scissors.
16.
Usually, shears. (usually used with a plural verb). Also, sheers. Also called shear legs, sheerlegs. a framework for hoisting heavy weights, consisting of two or more spars with their legs separated, fastened together near the top and steadied by guys, which support a tackle.
17.
a machine for cutting rigid material, as metal in sheet or plate form, by moving the edge of a blade through it.
18.
Mechanics, Geology. the tendency of forces to deform or fracture a member or a rock in a direction parallel to the force, as by sliding one section against another.
19.
Physics. the lateral deformation produced in a body by an external force, expressed as the ratio of the lateral displacement between two points lying in parallel planes to the vertical distance between the planes.
Origin
900
before 900; (v.) Middle English sheren, Old English sceran, cognate with Dutch, German scheren, Old Norse skera; (noun) (in sense “tool for shearing”) Middle English sheres (plural), continuing Old English scērero, scēar, two words derived from the same root as the v.
Related forms
shearer, noun
shearless, adjective
Can be confused
shear, sheer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shear
  • It is of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not to flay them.
  • The effect is better described as an electric field dependent shear yield stress.
British Dictionary definitions for shear

shear

/ʃɪə/
verb shears, shearing, sheared (Austral & NZ) shore, sheared, shorn
1.
(transitive) to remove (the fleece or hair) of (sheep, etc) by cutting or clipping
2.
to cut or cut through (something) with shears or a sharp instrument
3.
(engineering) to cause (a part, member, shaft, etc) to deform or fracture or (of a part, etc) to deform or fracture as a result of excess torsion or transverse load
4.
(transitive) often foll by of. to strip or divest: to shear someone of his power
5.
when intr, foll by through. to move through (something) by or as if by cutting
6.
(Scot) to reap (corn, etc) with a scythe or sickle
noun
7.
the act, process, or an instance of shearing
8.
a shearing of a sheep or flock of sheep, esp when referred to as an indication of age: a sheep of two shears
9.
a form of deformation or fracture in which parallel planes in a body or assembly slide over one another
10.
(physics) the deformation of a body, part, etc, expressed as the lateral displacement between two points in parallel planes divided by the distance between the planes
11.
either one of the blades of a pair of shears, scissors, etc
12.
a machine that cuts sheet material by passing a knife blade through it
13.
a device for lifting heavy loads consisting of a tackle supported by a framework held steady by guy ropes
See also shears, shore3
Derived Forms
shearer, noun
Word Origin
Old English sceran; related to Old Norse skera to cut, Old Saxon, Old High German skeran to shear; see share²
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
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Word Origin and History for shear
v.

Old English sceran, scieran (class IV strong verb; past tense scear, past participle scoren) "to cleave, hew, cut with a sharp instrument; cut (hair); shear (sheep)," from Proto-Germanic *sker- "to cut" (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian skera, Dutch scheren, German scheren "to shear"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (cf. Sanskrit krnati "hurts, wounds, kills," krntati "cuts;" Hittite karsh- "to cut off;" Greek keirein "to cut, shear;" Latin curtus "short;" Lithuanian skiriu "to separate;" Old Irish scaraim "I separate;" Welsh ysgar "to separate," ysgyr "fragment").

n.

"act of clipping," 1610s, also as a unit of measure of the age of a sheep, from shear (v.). Scientific and mechanical sense "type of strain" is from 1850.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shear in Science
shear
  (shîr)   
  1. A force, movement or pressure applied to an object perpendicular to a given axis, with greater value on one side of the axis than the other. See more at shear force, stress, strain.

  2. See skew.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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