• WordNet 3.6
    • n shears large scissors with strong blades
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Sheared sheep Sheared sheep

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Shears A cutting instrument.
    • Shears A pair of wings.
    • Shears A shearing machine; a blade, or a set of blades, working against a resisting edge.
    • Shears A similar instrument the blades of which are extensions of a curved spring, -- used for shearing sheep or skins.
    • Shears An apparatus for raising heavy weights, and especially for stepping and unstepping the lower masts of ships. It consists of two or more spars or pieces of timber, fastened together near the top, steadied by a guy or guys, and furnished with the necessary tackle.
    • Shears An instrument consisting of two blades, commonly with bevel edges, connected by a pivot, and working on both sides of the material to be cut, -- used for cutting cloth and other substances.
    • Shears Anything in the form of shears.
    • Shears (Mach) The bedpiece of a machine tool, upon which a table or slide rest is secured; as, the shears of a lathe or planer. See Illust. under Lathe.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shears A cutting- or clipping-instrument consisting of two pivoted blades with beveled edges facing each other, such as is used for cutting cloth, or of a single piece of steel bent round until the blades meet, the elasticity of the back causing the blades to spring open when the pressure used in cutting has ceased. The latter is the kind used, by farriers, sheep-shearers, weavers, etc. Shears of the first kind differ from scissors chiefly in being larger. Implements of similar form used for cutting metal are also called shears. See also cuts under clipping-shears and sheep-shears.
    • n shears Something in the form of the blades of shears. (a) A pair of wings.
    • n shears In bookbinding, a long, heavy, curved knife, with a handle at one end and a heavy counterpoise at the other end of the blade, which cuts thick millboards, scissors, fashion, against a fixed straight knife on the side of an iron table.
    • n shears An apparatus for raising heavy weights. See sheers, 2.
    • n shears The ways or track of a lathe, upon which the lathe-head, poppet-head, and rest are placed.
    • n shears A shears-moth.
    • shears In calico-printing, two metal clamps for holding the blade of the doctor on a cylinder printing-machine.
    • shears In the steam fire-engine, the side frames which carry the weight of the boiler and engine and transmit it to the wheels.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Shears (pl. and sing.) an instrument for shearing or cutting, consisting of two blades that meet each other: a hoisting apparatus (see Sheers)
    • Shears (Spens.) anything resembling shears, as even a pair of wings
    • ***


  • Sydney Smith
    “It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.”
  • Tiberius Caesar
    Tiberius Caesar
    “It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them.”
  • Austin O'Malley
    “In levying taxes and in shearing sheep it is well to stop when you get down to the skin.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Formerly used also in the singular. See Shear (n.), 1
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sceran; Ice. skera, to clip, Ger. scheren, to shave.


In literature:

His favorite maxim was, that a good shepherd should shear, and not flay, his sheep.
"History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD" by Robert F. Pennell
You'll find a better use for it before next shearing.
"Children of the Bush" by Henry Lawson
The rouseabouts and shearers use the hut in common during shearing.
"While the Billy Boils" by Henry Lawson
These causes of delay now vanished, the Parcae closed the abrupt woof, and lifted the impending shears.
"Lucretia, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Don't it cut six inches on the rib of clear shear, that.
"The Attache" by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Don't it cut six inches on the rib of clear shear, that.
"The Attache" by Thomas Chandler Haliburton
At stook and rook, shear and At the dead beast.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book I." by Francois Rabelais
Let us have a sieve and shears, and thou shalt see devils.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III." by Francois Rabelais
He would have stabbed her for sure with his shears.
"L'Assommoir" by Emile Zola
Of course, every man tries to shear as many as he can, and, owing to haste, frequently the animals are severely cut by the sharp shears.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 417" by Various

In poetry:

For then, my lassie, we'll be wed,
When we hae proof o' ither had,
An' nae mair need to mind what's said
When we're thegither shearing.
"When Autumn Comes" by Robert Hogg
An' aye we'll haud our rig afore,
An' ply to hae the shearing o'er,
Syne you will soon forget you bore
Your neighbours' jibes and jeering.
"When Autumn Comes" by Robert Hogg
Go shear your flocks, ye jovial swains;
Go reap the plenty of your plains;
Despoiled of all which you revere,
I know my Flavia's love sincere.
"Song" by William Shenstone
And many maidens, knowing then
That she would not come back again,
Unbound their curls; and all in tears,
They cut them off with sharpened shears.
"The Dust Of Timas" by Sappho
He shears the midnight with its shadowy shrouds,
Till every breath and pant
Mirrors and paints itself against the clouds,
Like northern lights aslant.
"To My Readers" by Alexander Anderson
Ungrateful creatures crave a part -
She tells them firmly she is full;
Lost sheared sheep hurt her tender heart
With bleating, stops her ears with wool:-
"Lines To A Friend Visiting America" by George Meredith

In news:

I had some of Cheena's wool from 2010 shearing.
Has hired Vaughn Ali as Southeast territory manager with responsibility for sales and dealer relations for shears, magnets , generator systems and grapples in Southeast and Texas.
Amish beard-cutting: Shears cut symbol of manhood , expert says.
(June 3 update: the saw was freed and cut was made with shears).
Sheep shearing - news and coverage from The New Zealand Herald.
EUREKA TOWNSHIP — In a close race for Eureka Township supervisor, incumbent Democrat Laura Shears was re-elected for another term.
"I just want to thank the voters," Shears said on Tuesday night of her win.
For a truly great hair day take a ride on the Sterling Highway to mile 81.5 and turn into Carol's Sterling Shears .
Mark Shears was shot to death Tuesday morning.
Kansas City, Missouri's latest homicide victim has been identified as 26-year-old Mark Shears .
Allied's all-new AMS Series Mobile Shears pack up to 1,446 tons of cutting force.
Loretta Dean Shears , age 78, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, died Saturday, January 28, 2012, at VMRC.
"It's a serious blow to hopes that the economy will get back on track," said Neil Shearing from research consultancy Capital Economics in London.
Shear / New York Times News Service.
Shearing was the first woman to sit on the state's high court.

In science:

If we correct our measurements using a second order polynomial in the difference between measured and true shear, as found by Heymans et al. (2006), we find that most cluster masses stay within +/ − 15% of the mass calculated from uncorrected shear values.
The Cluster Mass Function from Weak Gravitational Lensing
The galaxy shape distortions caused by gravitational lensing provides a measurement of the reduced tangential shear, gT = γT /(1 − κ), where γT is the tangential component of the shear and κ is the convergence.
The Cluster Mass Function from Weak Gravitational Lensing
This is determined by opposite temperature behavior of the bulk and shear viscosities that the bulk viscosity increases while the shear decreases with growing temperature.
Bulk viscosity in nuclear and quark matter: A short review
Note that this field is also the average field in the shearing sheet box, and is conserved during the evolution thanks to the shearing sheet boundary conditions (Hawley et al. 1995).
Impact of dimensionless numbers on the efficiency of MRI-induced turbulent transport
Statistical averages are computed over 500 shear times, and start after the first 100 shear times to avoid pollution by relaxation of the initial transient dynamics.
Impact of dimensionless numbers on the efficiency of MRI-induced turbulent transport