from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of shear.
  • n. A tool consisting of two blades with bevel edges, connected by a pivot, used for cutting cloth, or for removing the fleece from sheep etc
  • v. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of shear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A cutting instrument.
  • An instrument consisting of two blades, commonly with bevel edges, connected by a pivot, and working on both sides of the material to be cut, -- used for cutting cloth and other substances.
  • A similar instrument the blades of which are extensions of a curved spring, -- used for shearing sheep or skins.
  • A shearing machine; a blade, or a set of blades, working against a resisting edge.
  • Anything in the form of shears.
  • A pair of wings.
  • An apparatus for raising heavy weights, and especially for stepping and unstepping the lower masts of ships. It consists of two or more spars or pieces of timber, fastened together near the top, steadied by a guy or guys, and furnished with the necessary tackle.
  • The bedpiece of a machine tool, upon which a table or slide rest is secured. See Illust. under Lathe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In calico-printing, two metal clamps for holding the blade of the doctor on a cylinder printing-machine.
  • In the steam fire-engine, the side frames which carry the weight of the boiler and engine and transmit it to the wheels.
  • n. A cutting- or clipping-instrument consisting of two pivoted blades with beveled edges facing each other, such as is used for cutting cloth, or of a single piece of steel bent round until the blades meet, the elasticity of the back causing the blades to spring open when the pressure used in cutting has ceased.
  • n. Something in the form of the blades of shears.
  • n. In bookbinding, a long, heavy, curved knife, with a handle at one end and a heavy counterpoise at the other end of the blade, which cuts thick millboards, scissors, fashion, against a fixed straight knife on the side of an iron table.
  • n. An apparatus for raising heavy weights. See sheers, 2.
  • n. The ways or track of a lathe, upon which the lathe-head, poppet-head, and rest are placed.
  • n. A shears-moth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large scissors with strong blades


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The blowout preventer, designed to cut off leaks with a series of valves and pipe shears, is still partially open.

    BP pursues short-term ways to stop leak

  • I was so mad that I went out to buy a tin shears to cut their cable ­ just like how they had cut the cable off when we first moved into the house because they thought we were pirating the television signal because we chose not to subscribe to Spanish programming.

    A New Beginning

  • Beside the shears were the blackened hunks of fingertips, although Gil counted only three, not four.

    Fatal Error

  • They are bound to think you are on your own, and their shears are all sharpened for the trimming of newcomers like you.

    Chapter II

  • As she drew nigh, all eyes were fixed upon her broad beams, called shears, which, in some whaling-ships, cross the quarter-deck at the height of eight or nine feet; serving to carry the spare, unrigged, or disabled boats.

    Moby Dick; or the Whale

  • I found a steel bedpan in one load and a pair of surgical shears in another the bedpan was of no practical use, but the shears were a damned handy kitchen implement.

    on writing by stephen king

  • I saw a plane with radar technology which just came back from dealing with the difficult incident in Waco, Texas; and another plane -- defense technology -- another plane with a different sort of technology now which can be put on all of our commercial air flights to detect wind shears, which is one of the major causes of airline misfortunes now among commercial airlines.

    Remarks By The President At Childrens Defense Fund Conf

  • Ladon, Pheres, Demodocus; his gleaming sword shears off Strymonius 'hand as it rises to his throat; he strikes Thoas on the face with a stone, and drives the bones asunder in a shattered mass of blood and brains.

    The Aeneid of Virgil

  • The straight arm of the shears is the one to fix in the press, for if the bent arm be undermost, the knuckles are apt to be severely bruised against the end.

    Bookbinding, and the Care of Books A handbook for Amateurs, Bookbinders & Librarians

  • Under the conditions devised for the Beetle, the use of the shears is the indispensable complement of the use of the shovel; and the modicum of discernment at his disposal is enough to inform him when it will be well to employ the clippers.

    The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles


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