Definition of shirk in English:
- She suffers, true; she complains, also true; but she has not shirked her duty, nor shied away from pain.
- Insightful without being pedantic, learned but not overbearing, the book is full of humorous anecdotes while never shirking the factual responsibility of the historian.
- ‘It is a matter of law and not of fact,’ she said, adding that in her opinion, to decline to hear the matter would be shirking her responsibility as a judge.
nounarchaic Back to top
- His status as a shirk would normally render him somewhat of a pariah.
- The boy was a shirk, anyway, so he wouldn't really be missed.
mid 17th century (in the sense 'practise fraud or trickery'): from obsolete shirk 'sponger', perhaps from German Schurke 'scoundrel'.
shark from (late 16th century):
We do not know where the name for the fish comes from, but it is thought that the shark as in loan shark may be from German Schurke ‘worthless rogue’, influenced by the zoological term. Shirk (mid 17th century) originally meaning a scrounger, may be from the same German word. The sense ‘avoid work’ dates from the late 18th century.
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