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shirt definition


This page has 6 definitions of shirt in English, Dutch, Flemish, and Middle English. Shirt is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use shirt in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English shirt definition

A shirt


Etymology 1

From Middle English sherte, shurte, schirte, from Old English sċyrte (a short garment; skirt; kirtle), from Proto-West Germanic *skurtijā, from Proto-Germanic *skurtijǭ (a short garment, skirt, apron), from *skurtaz (short).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian Schoarte (apron), Dutch schort (apron), German Schürze (apron), Danish skjorte (shirt), Norwegian skjorte (shirt), Swedish skjorta (shirt), Faroese skjúrta (shirt), Icelandic skyrta (shirt).

English skirt is a parallel formation from Old Norse; which is a doublet of short, from the same ultimate source.


shirt (plural shirts)

  1. An article of clothing that is worn on the upper part of the body, and often has sleeves, either long or short, that cover the arms.
    Synonym: sark
    It can take a while to learn how to iron a shirt properly.
    • 1509, John Fisher, A Mornynge Remembraunce [] :
      She had her shertes & gyrdyls of heere.
    • 1705, J[oseph] Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Several persons in December had nothing over their shoulders but their shirts.
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1 - 2 Norwich”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Holt was furious referee Michael Oliver refused to then award him a penalty after Ledley King appeared to pull his shirt and his anger was compounded when Spurs immediately levelled.
  2. An interior lining in a blast furnace.
  3. A member of the shirt-wearing team in a shirts and skins game.
Derived terms
single words
Compound words and phrases (nouns)
Verb phrases
  • Fiji Hindi: sat

Etymology 2

From Middle English sherten, shirten (also shorten), from the noun (see above).


shirt (third-person singular simple present shirts, present participle shirting, simple past and past participle shirted)

  1. To cover or clothe with a shirt, or as if with a shirt.
    • 1691, King Arthur, by John Dryden, act II, scene I.
      Ah! for so many souls, as but this morn / Were clothed with flesh, and warm’d with vital blood / But naked now, or shirted just with air.


Dutch shirt definition


Borrowed from English shirt.



shirt n (plural shirts, diminutive shirtje n)

  1. A T-shirt or other shirt, typically including undershirts.

Derived terms

Related terms

Middle English shirt definition



  1. Alternative form of sherte