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shear / shi(ə)r/ • v. (past part. shorn / shôrn/ or sheared ) 1. [tr.] cut the wool off (a sheep or other animal). ∎  cut off (something such as hair, wool, or grass), with scissors or shears: I'll shear off all that fleece. ∎  (be shorn of) have something cut off: they were shorn of their hair | fig. the richest man in the U.S. was shorn of nearly $2 billion. 2. break off or cause to break off, owing to a structural strain: [intr.] the derailleur sheared and jammed in the rear wheel | [tr.] the left wing had been almost completely sheared off. • n. a strain in the structure of a substance produced by pressure, when its layers are laterally shifted in relation to each other.See also wind shear. DERIVATIVES: shear·er n.

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shear pt. sheared, †shore, pp. sheared, shorn. OE. str. vb. sċ(i)eran = OS. -skeran (Du. scheren), OHG. sceran, (G. scheren), ON. skera :- Gmc. *skeran.
Hence shearling (-LING1) sheep that has been shorn Once. XIV. shearwater bird of the genus Puffinus. XVII. shears pl. (rarely sg.) scissors, now only of a large kind. OE. (i) sċērero pl., (ii) sċēara, pl. of sċēar fem., corr. to MLG. schēre, MDu. scāre, scēre (Du. schaer), OHG. skār, pl. skāri (G. schere), ON. skǽri n. pl.

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1. Force that can break, e.g., a beam near its point of support, if that force is greater than the strength of a beam. The effect is similar to that of, e.g., a pair of scissors on hair, i.e. the force acts transversely to the axis of a structural member.

2. If a beam is composed of several horizontal layers, a weight will cause the beam to bend, so the horizontal layers will slide horizontally over each other. Shearing is therefore a cutting or sliding process.


Mitchell (1953)

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