Definition for SHEAR

SHEAR, v.t. [pret. sheared; pp. sheared or shorn. The old pret. shore is entirely obsolete. Sax. scearan, scyran, sciran, to shear, to divide, whence share and shire; G. scheren, to shear or shave, and to vex, to rail, to jeer; schier dich weg, get you gone; schier dich aus dem wege, move out of the way; D. scheeren, to shave, shear, banter, stretch, warp; de geck scheeren, to play the fool; zig weg scheeren, to shear off; Dan. skierer, to cut, carve, saw, hew; skierts, a jest, jeer, banter; skiertser, to sport, mock, jeer; Sw. skiära, to reap, to mow, to cut off, to cleanse, to rinse; Sans. schaura or chaura, to shave; W. ysgar, a part, a share; ysgariaw, to separate. The Greek has ξυραω, to shave, and κειρω, to shave, shear, cut off or lay waste. The primary sense is to separate or force off in general; but a prominent signification is to separate by rubbing, as in scouring, or as in shaving, cutting close to the surface. Hence the sense of jeering, as we say, to give one the rub. See Scour, and Class Gr, No. 5, 8.]

  1. To cut or clip something from the surface with an instrument of two blades; to separate any thing from the surface by shears, scissors or a like instrument; as, to shear sheep; to shear cloth. It is appropriately used for the cutting of wool from sheep or their skins, and for clipping the nap from cloth, but may be applied to other things; as, a horse shears the ground in feeding much closer than an ox.
  2. To separate by shears; as, to shear a fleece.
  3. To reap. [Not in use.] Scotish. – Gower.

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