Middle English Dictionary Entry

shēren v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. bisheren v., forsheren v.
(a) To cut or penetrate with a weapon or sharp instrument; of a weapon: cut; inflict (a wound); also [quot.: a1400], of a plowshare: ?cut into the ground; ?error for steren v.; ~ thurgh, pierce through (a shield, mail, or a shoulder with a spear); ppl. sheringe, sharp, cutting; also fig.; also, wielding a sharp instrument [quot.: Rolle Psalter]; (b) to wound or kill (sb., a horse) with a sharp weapon; also used of a sword [1st quot.]; circumcise (sb.); make an incision in (sb.), cut into; (c) to cut (a part of a human or an animal body), wound, pierce; also fig.; also, make a cut in the flesh surrounding (a wound); (d) to make a mark; mark (a shoulder with a cross); incise (a cross on a shoulder, leaves on a tabernacle), engrave; (e) to cut (a ring from gold), fashion, make; form (sb.), fashion; also, ?fashion (shame for sb.).
(a) To cut (sth.) apart with a weapon, sharp tool, etc.; cut open (the breast of an animal); cut (a tree) into pieces; cut (gold) into thin strips; ~ atwo (in two, o two, atwinne, asonder, in sonder), cut (a shield, part of the body, etc.) apart, cut in two, split, etc.; also fig. [quot.: Towneley Pl.]; ~ in shredes (diverse partes, etc.); ppl. shorn as adj.: of gold: cut into strips; (b) to cut up (food, the ingredients of a medical or cooking recipe); -- also without obj.; carve (meat); ~ smal (in shiveres, on peces smal, etc.); (c) to tear (a garment) apart with the hands, rend; also fig.
(a) To cut (sth.) off with a weapon, sharp tool, etc., cut away; cut off a piece of (sth.) [last quot.]; also, shed (blood); ~ awei, cut (sth.) away; also fig.; ~ from, cut (sth.) off from (sb. or sth.); also fig.; ~ of, cut (sth.) off; also, ?cut (the cap of the poppy head) away from (the outer covering); also, of an arm: come away from the body; ~ oute, cut out (the shoulders of a deer); shorn upon, of flesh: cut from (the ribs); (b) to reap; cut (grain), reap, mow; also fig.; harvest (a plant); cut (rushes); ~ in sheves, mow and make sheaves of (a crop); ppl. sheringe, connected with reaping or reapers; (c) ~ doun, to cut (woven fabric) from (the loom); also fig.; doun ~ [see doun adv. 5a.(e)].
(a) To clip or trim with shears; clip away the fleece from (a sheep), shear; clip (a horse, an ass, etc.); also fig.; also, trim (the mane or hair of a horse); ~ awei; ~ oute of, clip away (the fleece) from (a ram); (b) to cut the hair of (sb., oneself); cut the hair from (the head), shave; cut off the hair of (sb., the head) in the manner of a fool; shave (an area bare on someone's or one's own head); cut off (hair, the beard); also, trim (a nail); also, fig. kill (sb.); ~ awei (of), cut off (hair); also fig. [last quot.]; ~ honeste, cut the hair and beard so as to make oneself seemly for Easter; as who hadde shorn his (here) hed, like a fool (fools); (c) to confer the tonsure on (sb.); cut the hair of (a woman being received into a nunnery); tonsure (the head); ben shorn monk, become a monk; ppl. shorn, tonsured; shaved; also, as noun: tonsured people; (d) to shear or trim the nap of (woolen cloth).
(a) To cause (sth.) to separate; divide up (clothes); portion out (drink); divert (rivers); ppl. shorn, differentiated (from others); of sheep: scattered; separated (from the fold); (b) ~ from, to deprive (sb.) of (sth.); ~ of, take off (armor); (c) to move, glide; meander; go away, depart; change direction, swerve.
In plant name: shere gras, a plant of the genus Cyperus, prob. the Old World sedge (C. longus), galingale; also, a plant of the genus Carex.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500(?a1400) Torrent (Chet 8009)662 : Stomlyng thurrow frythe and fen..he com to a depe thorne, Ther myght non hym schere.
  • Note: ?sheren v. 1.(b).--per REL
    Note: Refl.? where no one could move. Trans.? where no one would dislodge him.--per REL
    Note: MED thorn n. sense 2.(a) =?also, a stand or thicket of thorn trees [Torrent quot. used]. So, perhaps (in the same vein as previous note) literally, "to cut (sb.) free".
    Note: This would prob. be considered for use in sheren v. before being called an error for stiren v.--per REL