A shear is a cutting implement that looks like a long pair of scissors. Also like scissors, this form of the noun is usually plural. You can cut metal, prune a tree, or cut up a chicken with shears.

In farming, when you remove wool from a sheep, goat, or even a llama, you shear the animal. Most farmers shear their sheep once a year, but the timing varies from farm to farm. The verb shear also means to cause to break off or come apart with a cutting force. The wind during a storm can blow hard enough to shear the tiles off a roof.

Definitions of shear
  1. verb
    cut or cut through with shears
    shear the wool off the lamb”
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    type of:
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  2. verb
    cut with shears
    shear hedges”
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    type of:
    clip, crop, cut back, dress, lop, prune, snip, trim
    cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
  3. verb
    shear the wool from
    shear sheep”
    synonyms: fleece
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    type of:
    shave, trim
    cut closely
  4. noun
    a large edge tool that cuts sheet metal by passing a blade through it
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    type of:
    edge tool
    any cutting tool with a sharp cutting edge (as a chisel or knife or plane or gouge)
  5. verb
    become deformed by forces tending to produce a shearing strain
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  6. noun
    (physics) a deformation of an object in which parallel planes remain parallel but are shifted in a direction parallel to themselves
    “the shear changed the quadrilateral into a parallelogram”
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    type of:
    alteration in the shape or dimensions of an object as a result of the application of stress to it
Word Family

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