Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remove the beard or other body hair from, with a razor or shaver.
  • intransitive verb To cut (the beard, for example) at the surface of the skin with a razor or shaver.
  • intransitive verb To crop, trim, or mow closely.
  • intransitive verb To remove thin slices from.
  • intransitive verb To cut or scrape into thin slices; shred.
  • intransitive verb To come close to or graze in passing. synonym: brush.
  • intransitive verb To reduce by a small amount.
  • intransitive verb To cut (a price) by a slight margin.
  • intransitive verb To purchase (a note) at a reduction greater than the legal or customary rate.
  • intransitive verb To limit the number of (points) scored by one's own team in an athletic contest by point-shaving.
  • intransitive verb To remove the beard or other body hair with a razor or shaver.
  • noun The act, process, or result of shaving.
  • noun A thin slice or scraping; a shaving.
  • noun Any of various tools used for shaving.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act or operation of shaving; the being shaved.
  • noun A shaving; a thin paring.
  • noun Motion so close to something as almost to scrape or graze it; a very close approach; hence, an exceedingly narrow miss or escape: often with close or near.
  • noun A knife with a long blade and a handle at each end, for shaving hoops, spokes (a spoke-shave), etc.; a drawing-knife, used by shoe-makers.
  • noun In stock transactions, a premium or consideration paid for an extension of time of delivery or payment, or for the right to vary a contract in some particular.
  • noun The proportion of receipts paid by a local theatrical manager to a traveling company or combination.
  • noun One who is close or hard in bargaining; specifically, one who shaves notes.
  • noun A trick; a piece of knavery, especially in money matters; hence, by extension, any piece of deception.
  • In hat-making, to rub down the outside of (a felt hat), as with pumice or sandpaper.
  • To remove a thin film of oxid from a metal surface, as of sheet-lead or lead-pipe, so as to expose a clean area to receive the solder in making a joint.
  • noun A Middle English past participle of shave.
  • To remove by a slicing, paring, or sliding action of a keen-edged instrument; especially, to remove by cutting close to the skin with a razor: sometimes with off: as, to shave the beard.
  • To make bare by cutting off the hair, or the like: as, to shave the chin or head; also, to remove the hair or beard of with a razor: as, to shave a man: often used figuratively.
  • To cut down gradually by taking off thin shavings or parings: as, to shave shingles or hoops.
  • To skim along or near the surface of; pass very close to; come very near touching or grazing. Compare shave, n., 3.
  • To strip; fleéce; cheat; swindle.
  • Synonyms and Peel, Shave off, etc. See pare, transitive verb
  • To remove the beard with a razor; use a razor in removing the beard or hair from the face or head.
  • To be hard or extortionate in bargains; specifically, to purchase notes or securities at a greater discount than is common.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To use a razor for removing the beard; to cut closely; hence, to be hard and severe in a bargain; to practice extortion; to cheat.
  • obs. p. p. of shave.
  • transitive verb To cut or pare off from the surface of a body with a razor or other edged instrument; to cut off closely, as with a razor.
  • transitive verb To make bare or smooth by cutting off closely the surface, or surface covering, of; especially, to remove the hair from with a razor or other sharp instrument; to take off the beard or hair of
  • transitive verb To cut off thin slices from; to cut in thin slices.
  • transitive verb To skim along or near the surface of; to pass close to, or touch lightly, in passing.
  • transitive verb colloq. To strip; to plunder; to fleece.
  • transitive verb [Cant, U.S.] to buy it at a discount greater than the legal rate of interest, or to deduct in discounting it more than the legal rate allows.
  • noun A thin slice; a shaving.
  • noun A cutting of the beard; the operation of shaving.
  • noun Cant, U.S., Cant, U.S., Cant, U.S. An exorbitant discount on a note.
  • noun Cant, U.S. A premium paid for an extension of the time of delivery or payment, or for the right to vary a stock contract in any particular.
  • noun A hand tool consisting of a sharp blade with a handle at each end; a drawing knife; a spokeshave.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English shaven, to scrape, from Old English sceafan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English sceafa

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English shaven, schaven, from Old English scafan ("to shave, scrape, shred, polish"), from Proto-Germanic *skabanan (“to scratch”), from Proto-Indo-European *skÀbʰ-, *skab- (“to cut, split, form, carve”). Cognate with Dutch schaven ("to shave, plane"), German schaben ("to scrape, shave"), Swedish skava ("to scrape, chafe").

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "But when the interview started I realized I was no longer someone who could talk the quiet, polite, oblique version of self-promotion demanded by academic hiring committees. I was too deeply, permanently spooked by our condition. I was just plain wrong, unhireably wrong in every way. No hot water on the boat, and I needed to shave the graying wisps of hair on my big bald head, so I’d shaved in the McDonald’s men’s room on the way to the interview, with a cheap Bic shaver. You can guess the results: it looked like a bobcat had tried to roost on my scalp, and been evicted after a violent struggle."

    - John Dolan, 'Tips for New Paupers', exiledonline.com, 15 Oct 2008.

    October 30, 2008

  • A coppice or little wood. - an old provincial term from Kent England.

    May 3, 2011