(sheared; sheared or shorn; shearing)
Etymology: Middle English sheren, from Old English scieran; akin to Old Norse skera to cut, Latin curtus mutilated, curtailed, Greek keirein to cut, shear, Sanskrit kṛnāti he injures
Date: before 12th century
a. to cut off the hair from <with crown shorn> b. to cut or clip (as hair or wool) from someone or something; also to cut something from <shear a lawn> c. chiefly Scottish to reap with a sickle d. to cut or trim with shears or a similar instrument 2. to cut with something sharp 3. to deprive of something as if by cutting <lives shorn of any hope — M. W. Browne> 4. a. to subject to a shear force b. to cause (as a rock mass) to move along the plane of contact intransitive verb 1. to cut through something with or as if with a sharp instrument 2. chiefly Scottish to reap crops with a sickle 3. to become divided under the action of a shear <the bolt may shear off> • shearer noun II. noun Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) a cutting implement similar or identical to a pair of scissors but typically larger — usually used in plural (2) one blade of a pair of shears b. any of various cutting tools or machines operating by the action of opposed cutting edges of metal — usually used in plural c. (1) something resembling a shear or a pair of shears (2) a hoisting apparatus consisting of two or sometimes more upright spars fastened together at their upper ends and having tackle for masting or dismasting ships or lifting heavy loads (as guns) — usually used in plural but sing. or plural in constr. 2. chiefly British the action or process or an instance of shearing — used in combination to indicate the approximate age of sheep in terms of shearings undergone 3. a. internal force tangential to the section on which it acts — called also shearing force b. an action or stress resulting from applied forces that causes or tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.