from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A former administrative division of Great Britain, equivalent to a county.
- noun A Shire horse.
from The Century Dictionary.
- An obsolete form of
- noun A share; a portion.
- noun Originally, a division of the kingdom of England under the jurisdiction of an ealdorman, whose authority was intrusted to the sheriff (‘shire-reeve’), on whom the government ultimately devolved; also, in Anglo-Saxon use, in general, a district, province, diocese, or parish; in later and present use, one of the larger divisions into which Great Britain is parted out for political and administrative purposes; a county.
- noun A shire-moot. See the quotation under shire-day.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun A portion of Great Britain originally under the supervision of an earl; a territorial division, usually identical with a county, but sometimes limited to a smaller district.
- noun United States A division of a State, embracing several contiguous townships; a county.
- noun See under
- noun [Eng.] an officer of a county court; also, an under sheriff.
- noun (Old. Eng. Law), [Obs.] the county court; sheriff's turn, or court.
- noun (Old Eng. Law) the reeve, or bailiff, of a shire; a sheriff.
- noun the capital town of a county; a county town.
- noun [Obs.] a county; a shire.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun Former
administrativearea of Britain; a county.
- noun UK, colloquial The general area in which a person lives, used in the context of travel within the UK:
- noun A
ruralor outer suburbanlocal government area of Australia.
- noun A
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun British breed of large heavy draft horse
- noun a former administrative district of England; equivalent to a county
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
The book is arranged geographically, and in all cases the English word "shire" is omitted, with the result that we come upon such an extremely curious monster as "le Comté de Shrop."
Also, county names that end in - shire should sound like - shuh, not - shy-er.
The shire was the scene of much strife after the Reformation.
Farewell I fear it is likely to be for some time, as I must reside at my deanery, in ---- shire.
Her noble friend canvassed for her as if it were a county election of the good old days, when the representation of a shire was the certain avenue to a peerage, instead of being, as it is now, the high road to a poor-law commissionership.
The knight of the shire was the connecting link between the baron and the shopkeeper.
The chief law enforcement officer of the shire was the "reeve" or "reef."
But when Chaucer met her the house was ruling itself somewhere at the 'shire's ende'.
A "shire" was a grouping of hundreds, with a similar gathering of its principal men for judicial, military, and fiscal purposes.
We get the word sheriff from a combination of she English word "shire," representing an administrative area, and "reeve," a person a monarch appointed to carry out judicial, police, works and military functions.