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Definition of shear:

  1. A pair of shears; - now always used in the plural, but formerly also in the singular. See Shears.
  2. A shearing; - used in designating the age of sheep.
  3. A strain, or change of shape, of an elastic body, consisting of an extension in one direction, an equal compression in a perpendicular direction, with an unchanged magnitude in the third direction.
  4. An action, resulting from applied forces, which tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact; - also called shearing stress, and tangential stress.
  5. Fig.: To deprive of property; to fleece.
  6. To become more or less completely divided, as a body under the action of forces, by the sliding of two contiguous parts relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact.
  7. To cut, clip, or sever anything from with shears or a like instrument; as, to shear sheep; to shear cloth.
  8. To deviate. See Sheer.
  9. To produce a change of shape in by a shear. See Shear, n., 4.
  10. To reap, as grain.
  11. To separate or sever with shears or a similar instrument; to cut off; to clip ( something) from a surface; as, to shear a fleece.

Synonyms:

cut back, cut down, gazump, overcharge, soak, hook, surcharge, rob, pluck, slash, plume, cleave, fleece, increase.

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