one of the counties of Great Britain.
the counties in the Midlands in which hunting is especially popular.

before 900; Middle English; Old English scīr office of administration, jurisdiction of such an office, county

subshire, noun
undershire, noun Unabridged


one of an English breed of large, strong draft horses having a usually brown or bay coat with white markings.

1875–80; apparently so called because it was bred in the shires, i.e., those counties of west and central England whose names end in -shire


a river in SE Africa, flowing S from Lake Malawi to the Zambezi River. 370 miles (596 km) long. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shire1 (ʃaɪə)
1.  a.  one of the British counties
 b.  (in combination): Yorkshire
2.  (in Australia) a rural district having its own local council
3.  See shire horse
4.  the Midland counties of England, esp Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, famous for hunting, etc
[Old English scīr office; related to Old High German scīra business]

shire2 (ʃaɪə)
dialect (Ulster) (tr) to refresh or rest: let me get my head shired
[from Old English scīr clear]

Shire or Shiré (ˈʃɪəreɪ)
a river in E central Africa, flowing from Lake Malawi through Malawi and Mozambique to the Zambezi. Length: 596 km (370 miles)
Shiré or Shiré

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. scir "administrative office or district," from P.Gmc. *skizo (cf. O.H.G. scira "care, official charge"). Ousted since 14c. by Anglo-Fr. county (q.v.). The gentrified sense is from The Shires (1796), used by people in other parts of England of those counties that end
in -shire; sense transferred to the hunting country of the Midlands (1860).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


draft horse breed native to the middle section of England. The breed descended from the English "great horse," which carried men in full battle armour that often weighed as much as 400 pounds. Shires were improved as draft and farm animals in the latter part of the 18th century by breeding mares from Holland to English stallions. In 1853 the first Shire was imported to the United States, but the breed never became popular there and was primarily bred to upgrade smaller farm horses

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for shire
The new land that they founded on the west bank of the brandywine was called the shire.
The final report of the community economic development projects cook shire.
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