from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To avoid or neglect (a duty or responsibility).
- intransitive v. To avoid work or duty.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To avoid, especially a duty, responsibility, etc.; to stay away from.
- n. one who shirks
- n. the unforgivable sin of idolatry
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To procure by petty fraud and trickery; to obtain by mean solicitation.
- transitive v. To avoid; to escape; to neglect; -- implying unfaithfulness or fraud.
- intransitive v. To live by shifts and fraud; to shark.
- intransitive v. To evade an obligation; to avoid the performance of duty, as by running away.
- n. One who lives by shifts and tricks; one who avoids the performance of duty or labor.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To practise mean or artful tricks; live by one's wits; shark.
- To avoid unfairly or meanly the performance of some labor or duty.
- To procure by mean tricks; shark.
- To avoid or get off from unfairly or meanly; slink away from: as, to shirk responsibility.
- n. One who lives by shifts or tricks. See shark.
- n. One who seeks to avoid duty.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. avoid (one's assigned duties)
- v. avoid dealing with
Perhaps from German Schurke, scoundrel; akin to Old High German fiurscurgo, demon : fiur, fire + scurigen, to stir up.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested use in 1625 – 1635, apparently from association with shark (verb form), or from German Schurke ("rogue, knave"). (Wiktionary)