Etymology
Advertisement

shed (n.1)

"building for storage," 1855, earlier "light, temporary shelter" (late 15c., Caxton, shadde), possibly a dialectal variant of a specialized use of shade (n.). Originally of the barest sort of shelter. Or from or influenced in sense development by Middle English shudde (shud) "a shed, hut," which survives, if at all, in dialect, from Old English OE scydd.

shed (v.)

"cast off," Middle English sheden, from Old English sceadan, scadan "to divide, separate, part company; discriminate, decide; scatter abroad, cast about," strong verb (past tense scead, past participle sceadan), from Proto-Germanic *skaithan (source also of Old Saxon skethan, Old Frisian sketha, Middle Dutch sceiden, Dutch scheiden, Old High German sceidan, German scheiden "part, separate, distinguish," Gothic skaidan "separate"), from an extended form of PIE root *skei- "to cut, split."

Of tears, from late 12c.; of light, from c. 1200. In reference to animals, "to lose hair, feathers, etc., by natural process," it is recorded from c. 1500; of trees losing leaves from 1590s; of persons and their clothes, by 1858, American English colloquial.

This verb in Old English was used to gloss Late Latin words in the sense "to discriminate, to decide" that literally mean "to divide, separate" (compare discern). Hence also Old English scead (n.) "separation, distinction; discretion, understanding, reason;" sceadwisnes "discrimination, discretion" (see shed (n.2)). Related: Shedding. To shed blood "kill by shedding blood" is from c. 1300  A shedding-tooth (1799) was a milk-tooth or baby-tooth.

shed (n.2)

c. 1300, shede, "the parting of the hair made by combing," from Old English scead, sceada "separation of one thing from another," from the source of shed (v.). As "ridge of high ground dividing two valleys," 1876, probably shortened from watershed (q.v.).

updated on August 14, 2022

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of shed from WordNet
1
shed (v.)
get rid of;
he shed his image as a pushy boss
shed your clothes
Synonyms: cast / cast off / shake off / throw / throw off / throw away / drop
shed (v.)
pour out in drops or small quantities or as if in drops or small quantities;
shed tears
God shed His grace on Thee
Synonyms: spill / pour forth
shed (v.)
cause or allow (a solid substance) to flow or run out or over;
Synonyms: spill / disgorge
shed (v.)
cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers;
our dog sheds every Spring
Synonyms: molt / exuviate / moult / slough
2
shed (n.)
an outbuilding with a single story; used for shelter or storage;
3
shed (adj.)
shed at an early stage of development;
Synonyms: caducous
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.