General Science

  • verb to move laterally, often causing a break



Cars & Driving

  • verb to distort or fracture as a result of excess torsion or transverse load


  • An internal force tangential to the plane on which it acts. See also shearing force.
  • The relative displacement of adjacent planes in a single member.
  • To cut metal with two opposing passing blades or with one blade passing a fixed edge.
  • The tool used for the operation in definition (3.).

Origin & History of “shear”

Shear is the principal English descendant of the Indo-European base *sker- ‘cut’, which has also produced English score, share, shirt, short, and skirt, and probably sharp and shore as well. A variant of the base without the s is responsible for curt and curtail. The immediate source of shear itself is prehistoric Germanic *skeran, which also evolved into German and Dutch scheren, Swedish skära, and Danish skjære. The verb sheer ‘swerve’ (17th c.) probably originated as a variant of shear, but the adjective sheer (16th c.) is an entirely different word. It probably represents a survival of Old English scīr ‘bright, shining’, which came ultimately from the Germanic base *ski-, source also of English shimmer and shine.