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shire

[shahyuh r] /ʃaɪər/
noun
1.
one of the counties of Great Britain.
2.
the Shires, the counties in the Midlands in which hunting is especially popular.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English scīr office of administration, jurisdiction of such an office, county
Related forms
subshire, noun
undershire, noun

Shire

[shahyuh r] /ʃaɪər/
noun
1.
one of an English breed of large, strong draft horses having a usually brown or bay coat with white markings.
Origin
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

Shiré

[shee-rey] /ˈʃi reɪ/
noun
1.
a river in SE Africa, flowing S from Lake Malawi to the Zambezi River. 370 miles (596 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples 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.
British Dictionary definitions for shire

shire1

/ʃaɪə/
noun
1.
  1. one of the British counties
  2. (in combination) Yorkshire
2.
(in Australia) a rural district having its own local council
3.
4.
the Midland counties of England, esp Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, famous for hunting, etc
Word Origin
Old English scīr office; related to Old High German scīra business

shire2

/ʃaɪə/
verb
1.
(transitive) (Ulster, dialect) to refresh or rest let me get my head shired
Word Origin
from Old English scīr clear

Shire

/ˈʃɪəreɪ/
noun
1.
a river in E central Africa, flowing from Lake Malawi through Malawi and Mozambique to the Zambezi. Length: 596 km (370 miles)
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 shire
shire
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 Article for shire

Shire

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

Learn more about Shire with a free trial on Britannica.com

in Great Britain, a county. The Anglo-Saxon shire (Old English scir) was an administrative division next above the hundred and seems to have existed in the south in the time of Alfred the Great (871-899) and to have been fully established by the reign of Edgar (959-975). It was administered by an ealdorman (alderman) and by a sheriff (i.e., shire-reeve), who presided over the shire court. After the Norman Conquest the French term county was introduced and generally supplanted shire in preferred official use, though shire continued in popular use and frequently even in official records and lasted in many county names such as Cheshire, Hampshire, and Warwickshire. The root shire is still also adjoined to the names of smaller communities such as the parish of Hexhamshire.

Learn more about shire with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
7
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