Definition of shire in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃʌɪə/


1British A county, especially in England.
Example sentences
  • What is lacking, however, is a map of all the counties and shires across the archipelago, given the number of references to them in Smith's narrative.
  • From the battlements, she can look over a bend in the River Thames, across the treetops to Eton College and out over farms, villages and shires of Berks and Bucks.
  • Meanwhile, he's enjoying the English shires - Essex and Leicester.
1.1 (the Shires) Used in reference to parts of England regarded as strongholds of traditional rural culture, especially the rural Midlands.
Example sentences
  • Its average member is 65 years old - mainly wealthy retirees concentrated in the rural Shires.
  • Our fellow guests, two couples from the Shires, join us and soon the house party is in full swing.
  • Working, as I do, in the Shires, there are going to be patients who have strong religious views, and think ‘this is of the devil’ or whatever.
1.2 historical An administrative district in medieval times ruled jointly by an alderman and a sheriff.
Example sentences
  • In the medieval period the shire was fertile and prosperous.
  • The Midland shires and the shires of the south-east Danelaw conformed to the usual English patterns, as did the East-Anglian divisions of Norfolk and Suffolk.
  • The whole system was run by a set of royal officers, the shire reeves, with individual reeves looking after each hundred.
2Australian A rural area with its own elected council.
Example sentences
  • First elected as a shire councilor in the mid-1990's he resigned mid term.
  • Lennox is the fastest growing area in the shire.
  • The bushfire season has started early this year and local shires are already in total fire ban status.


Old English scīr 'care, official charge, county', of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with shire

acquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah

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