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 sheer.
  • 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 Knight.
  • 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 administrative area 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 rural or outer suburban local government area of Australia.
  • noun A shire horse

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

[Middle English, from Old English scīr, official charge, administrative district.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English scir, from Proto-Germanic *skīrō, *skīzō.


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  • The Sutherland Shire, a district of Sydney a long way from the city.

    October 5, 2008