Definition of shears in English:


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plural noun

(also a pair of shears)
  • A cutting instrument in which two blades move past each other, like scissors but typically larger.

    ‘garden shears’
    • ‘The old lady had brought a brush and a pair of shears that she was probably going to cut my hair with.’
    • ‘After it is snapped, trim the paper on the uncut side with a pair of shears or a sharp knife.’
    • ‘Yesterday I used my magical powers (as well as a thirty-year old pair of shears in need of a little bit of attention with a whetstone) to trim the hedge that runs along the side and in front of the house.’
    • ‘The worst of the pain is centered around my lower back, and - thanks to a brief but debilitating attempt to wield a pair of shears - both of my wrists.’
    • ‘Gulping nervously, she quickly smoothed down her short hair, which she had cropped off awkwardly with a pair of shears, and turned the door knob.’
    • ‘Furious now, his mother stormed across the room and yanked open his vanity drawer, rummaging around until she found a pair of shears.’
    • ‘She opened the sewing kit and took out a pair of shears, and made a cut up the very front to the neck so that the shirt came off the right side of him.’
    • ‘So I consider a boycott and two seconds later I realise it'd be like taking a pair of shears to my nose.’
    • ‘The disease causes a reduction in yield and is transmitted through infected cuttings, shears and other implements, as well as infected soil and water.’
    • ‘A goose is a tailor's iron; a donkey is a special board used for pressing sleeves and the shears are tailoring scissors.’
    • ‘Cutting with spinning blades instead of the shears creates a lot of dust.’
    • ‘Scissors and shears are not ‘multi-tasking’ tools.’
    • ‘Trim excess stem with scissors or pruning shears.’
    • ‘If you have a few plants indoors, use narrow-bladed pruning shears to prune and shape.’
    • ‘Make sure your cutting tools are sharp; use barber shears or shears with serrated blades.’
    • ‘He wrote about scissors and shears in the September 1999 issue of The Chronicle.’
    • ‘Use the next page to list all your scissors and shears, when they were sharpened and new ones you need.’
    • ‘Something as mundane as getting a haircut becomes a risk factor in a prison setting when the barber does not sterilize shears between cuttings.’
    • ‘His hair was longer; it looked like it had been trimmed with a blade instead of shears.’
    • ‘Experience equips you with a series of conditioned reflexes which can protect you from some of the more egregious follies, like changing a light bulb while standing in bath water or cutting your toe-nails with garden shears.’



/SHirz/ /ʃɪrz/


Old English scēara (plural) ‘scissors, cutting instrument’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaar and German Schere, also to shear.