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See also: Shed and she'd



  • enPR: shěd, IPA(key): /ʃɛd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛd

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scheden, schede, from Old English scēadan, scādan (to separate, divide, part, make a line of separation between; remove from association or companionship; distinguish, discriminate, decide, determine, appoint; shatter, shed; expound; decree; write down; differ), from Proto-West Germanic *skaiþan, from Proto-Germanic *skaiþaną (compare West Frisian skiede, Dutch and German scheiden), from Proto-Indo-European *skeyt- (to cut, part, divide, separate), from *skey-.

See also Welsh chwydu (to break open), Lithuanian skėsti (to spread), skíesti (to separate), Old Church Slavonic цѣдити (cěditi, to filter, strain), Ancient Greek σχίζω (skhízō, to split), Old Armenian ցտեմ (cʿtem, to scratch), Sanskrit च्यति (cyáti, he cuts off)). Related to shoad, shit.


shed (third-person singular simple present sheds, present participle shedding, simple past and past participle shed or (nonstandard) shedded)

  1. (transitive, obsolete, UK, dialectal) To part, separate or divide.
    To shed something in two.
    To shed the sheep from the lambs.
    A metal comb shed her golden hair.
    We are shed with each other by an enormous distance.
    • c. 1380, Geoffrey Chaucer, Boece
      If there be any thing that knitteth himself to the ilk middle point [of a circle], it is constrained into simplicity (that is to say, into unmovablity), and it ceaseth to be shed and to flit diversely.
    • 1460–1500, The Poems of Robert Henryson
      The northern wind had shed the misty clouds from the sky;
    • 1635, "Sermon on Philippians III, 7, 8", in Select Practical Writings of David Dickson (1845), Volume 1, page 166 Internet Archive
      Lest [] ye shed with God.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To part with, separate from, leave off; cast off, let fall, be divested of.
    You must shed your fear of the unknown before you can proceed.
    When we found the snake, it was in the process of shedding its skin.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, →OCLC:
      White oats are apt to shed most as they lie, and black as they stand.
    • 2012 November 2, Ken Belson, New York Times, retrieved 2 November 2012:
      She called on all the marathoners to go to Staten Island to help with the clean-up effort and to bring the clothes they would have shed at the start to shelters or other places where displaced people were in need.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To pour; to make flow.
  4. (transitive) To allow to flow or fall.
    I didn't shed many tears when he left me.
    A tarpaulin sheds water.
  5. (transitive) To radiate, cast, give off (light).
    to shed light on
    Can you shed any light on this problem?
  6. (obsolete, transitive) To pour forth, give off, impart.
  7. (obsolete, intransitive) To fall in drops; to pour.
  8. To sprinkle; to intersperse; to cover.
  9. (weaving) To divide, as the warp threads, so as to form a shed, or passageway, for the shuttle.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sched, schede, schad, from a combination of Old English scēada (a parting of the hair, top of the head) and Old English ġesċēad (distinction, reason).

Alternative forms[edit]


shed (plural sheds)

  1. (weaving) An area between upper and lower warp yarns through which the weft is woven.
  2. (obsolete) A distinction or dividing-line.
  3. (obsolete) A parting in the hair.
  4. (obsolete) The top of the head.
  5. (obsolete) An area of land as distinguished from those around it.
  6. (physics) A unit of area equivalent to 10−52 square meters; used in nuclear physics
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Dialectal variant of a specialized use of shade.[1]


A typical wooden shed on an allotment in Britain

shed (plural sheds)

  1. A slight or temporary structure built to shade or shelter something; a structure usually open in front; an outbuilding; a hut.
    wagon shed
    garden shed
    • 1941 June, “Notes and News: The Derelict Glyn Valley Tramway”, in Railway Magazine, pages 279-280:
      There are numerous sheds in the now grass-grown yard, most of which now house threshing machines and farm carts instead of locomotives and rolling stock, although [in] the roofs of some are gaping holes.
  2. A large temporary open structure for reception of goods.
  3. (Britain, derogatory, informal) An automobile which is old, worn-out, slow, or otherwise of poor quality.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:old car
  4. (Britain, rail transport) A British Rail Class 66 locomotive.
    • 2000 December 11, Bruce Garbutt, “Re: DRS to Cardiff (was Re: Tractor via Eddiestown)”, in uk.railway[1] (Usenet):
      Never saw that but we did stand and watch a pair of Sheds (156 and 165) speed north on a loaded steel.
Derived terms[edit]
  • Scottish Gaelic: seada
  • Welsh: sièd
See also[edit]


shed (third-person singular simple present sheds, present participle shedding, simple past and past participle shedded)

  1. (transitive) To place or allocate a vehicle, such as a locomotive, in or to a depot or shed.
    • 1944 January and February, W. McGowan Gradon, “Forres as a Railway Centre”, in Railway Magazine, page 23:
      On the Dava line, apart from the banking assistance given by the 4-4-0s, the traffic is handled by the standard class "5" 4-6-0s, known among the drivers as "Hikers"; these engines are shedded at Inverness and Perth.
    • 1961 May, Mark B. Warburton, “Yatton and its branches to Clevedon and Wells”, in Trains Illustrated, page 277:
      Three 14XX class 0-4-2Ts were allocated to Bath Road for the Clevedon branch and one was sub-shedded at Yatton for a week at a time, during which period it amassed an aggregate mileage of nearly 1,400 miles.
  2. (transitive, music) To woodshed.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “shed”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.



Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin sedeō. Compare Romanian ședea, șed.


shed (third-person singular present indicative shadi / shade, past participle shidzutã)

  1. I sit.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]