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[shur] /ʃɜr/
verb (used with object)
to draw up or gather (cloth or the like) on three or more parallel threads.
to bake (eggs removed from the shell) in a shallow dish or in individual dishes.
Also, shirring. a shirred arrangement, as of cloth.
Origin of shirr
1840-50; origin uncertain
Related forms
unshirred, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shirring
Historical Examples
  • Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown silk ribbon.

  • There was not the slightest doubt that all its shirring was of real, real silk!

    In Old Kentucky Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey
  • This may be in the form of a cupboard or small closet, or a bag made of light rubber cloth and provided with a shirring string.

    Practical Carriage and Wagon Painting Mayton Clarence Hillick
  • The shirring string under the crown is pulled up first and the material over-handed to the frame.

  • Machine work: Plain stitching, tucking, shirring, bias strips stitched on material.

    The Making of a Trade School Mary Schenck Woolman
  • Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.

    Anne Of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
British Dictionary definitions for shirring


to gather (fabric) into two or more parallel rows to decorate a dress, blouse, etc, often using elastic thread
(transitive) to bake (eggs) out of their shells
a series of gathered rows decorating a dress, blouse, etc
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
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 shirring



"to gather (cloth) on parallel threads," 1860 (implied in shirring), back-formation from shirred (1847), from shirr (n.) "elastic webbing," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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