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
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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