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Syllabification: shirk
Pronunciation: /SHərk

Definition of shirk in English:


[with object]
1Avoid or neglect (a duty or responsibility): their sole motive is to shirk responsibility and rip off the company
More example sentences
  • 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.
evade, dodge, avoid, get out of, sidestep, shrink from, shun, skip, miss;
informal duck (out of), cop out of, cut
avoid one's duty, be remiss, be negligent, play truant, swing the lead, slack off
informal goof off, play hooky
1.1 [no object, usually with negative] (shirk from) Be unwilling to do (something difficult): we will not shirk from closing a school if the evidence should justify it


archaic Back to top  
A person who shirks.
Example sentences
  • 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 'practice fraud or trickery'): from obsolete shirk 'sponger', perhaps from German Schurke 'scoundrel'.



Example sentences
  • He don't have time for those what don't care to work, and he'd sooner drown you than put up with idlers or shirkers.
  • And if the socialist shirkers riot, shoot them!
  • To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.

Definition of shirk in:

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