General English


  • noun a part of something that has been divided up among several people or groups


  • verb to own or use something together with someone else


  • noun one of many equal parts into which a company’s capital is divided. The owners of shares are shareholders or, more formally, members. US English often used the word stock where UK English uses share.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to own or use something together with somebody else

Media Studies

  • noun the total percentage of potential audience in a radio station’s TSA listening during a particular period of time


  • noun a single part of something divided among different people or groups
  • verb to divide something and give parts of it to different people or groups

Origin & History of “share”

Share ‘plough-blade’ (OE) and share ‘portion’ (14th c.) are distinct words, but they are ultimately related. The former came from the Germanic base *skar-, *sker- ‘cut’, which also produced English score, shear, short, etc. Its German relative is schar ‘ploughshare’. Share ‘portion’ appears to be a survival of Old English scearu. this is only recorded in the senses ‘groin’ and ‘tonsure’, but they share a meaning element (‘dividing’ in the case of the groin, the ‘forking’ of the body, and ‘cutting’ in the case of tonsure) that leads back to Germanic *skar-, *sker-, and suggests that share ‘portion’ denotes etymologically something ‘cut’ up or divided between people.