from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A former administrative division of Great Britain, equivalent to a county.
  • n. A Shire horse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Former administrative area of Britain; a county.
  • n. The general area in which a person lives, used in the context of travel within the UK:
  • n. A rural or outer suburban local government area of Australia.
  • n. A shire horse

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A portion of Great Britain originally under the supervision of an earl; a territorial division, usually identical with a county, but sometimes limited to a smaller district.
  • n. A division of a State, embracing several contiguous townships; a county.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A share; a portion.
  • n. Originally, a division of the kingdom of England under the jurisdiction of an ealdorman, whose authority was intrusted to the sheriff (‘shire-reeve’), on whom the government ultimately devolved; also, in Anglo-Saxon use, in general, a district, province, diocese, or parish; in later and present use, one of the larger divisions into which Great Britain is parted out for political and administrative purposes; a county.
  • n. A shire-moot. See the quotation under shire-day.
  • An obsolete form of sheer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. British breed of large heavy draft horse
  • n. a former administrative district of England; equivalent to a county


Middle English, from Old English scīr, official charge, administrative district.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English scir, from Proto-Germanic *skīrō, *skīzō. (Wiktionary)



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