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shirk

[shurk] /ʃɜrk/
verb (used with object)
1.
to evade (work, duty, responsibility, etc.).
verb (used without object)
2.
to evade work, duty, etc.
noun
3.
a shirker.
Origin of shirk
1625-1635
1625-35; obscurely akin to shark2
Related forms
unshirked, adjective
unshirking, adjective
Synonyms
1. shun, avoid, dodge.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for shirk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I wish there was no more to be said—but there is more; and neither you nor I must shirk it.

    The Fallen Leaves Wilkie Collins
  • Henley was not the sort of man to shirk a fight in the open.

    Nights Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • Strong steps had to be taken; and Clarke was not the man to shirk his duty.

    The Loom of Youth Alec Waugh
  • Primarily must have been the desire to shirk, the intent to do questionable work.

    The Tapestry Book Helen Churchill Candee
  • One is to shirk it by an indolent abandonment of the important offices of social and public life.

  • I'm sure you'd never stoop to second fiddle,And—I might shirk The part of serf.

British Dictionary definitions for shirk

shirk1

/ʃɜːk/
verb
1.
to avoid discharging (work, a duty, etc); evade
noun
2.
a person who shirks
Word Origin
C17: probably from German Schurke rogue; see shark²

shirk2

/ʃɪːk/
noun
1.
(Islam)
  1. the fundamental sin of regarding anything as equal to Allah
  2. any belief that is considered to be in opposition to Allah and Islam
Word Origin
from Arabic: association
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 shirk
v.

1630s, "to practice fraud or trickery," also a noun (1630s, now obsolete) "a needy, disreputable parasite" [OED], perhaps from German schurke "scoundrel, rogue, knave, villain" (see shark (n.)). Sense of "evade one's work or duty" first recorded 1785, originally in slang. Related: Shirked; shirking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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