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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
shire horse
▪ Read in studio Addiction to the drug crack cocaine is spreading into the shire counties.
▪ In local government, many of our shire counties and districts have led the way in raising the quality of public service.
▪ Our policy is to make changes to the structure of local government in the shire counties.
▪ Changes to the boundaries of shire counties or districts are also possible, as at present.
▪ Unit costs in metropolitan authorities have been consistently higher than in the shire counties.
▪ Well, if I did, I'd need to sell old Blazer and buy a shire horse to carry me!
▪ There is also a shire horse souvenir shop.
▪ A farmer is using a shire horse to pull the millstone which crushes the fruit.
▪ From the back of a barn three shire horses came thundering out - a stallion and two mares.
▪ He had not realised how much he would miss his family and the work of breeding and breaking the shires with George.
▪ He looked as if he had just stepped out of a drawing room in the shires.
▪ In local government, many of our shire counties and districts have led the way in raising the quality of public service.
▪ Letters under the privy seal were prepared by the thousand, and instructions were sent to the chief commissioners in each shire.
▪ The extent to which a powerful magnate could dominate the shire community and act as a focus for local sentiment varied.
▪ The representatives of shire and suburb had arrived on the Monday evening, and had drunk and dined exceedingly well.
▪ Well, if I did, I'd need to sell old Blazer and buy a shire horse to carry me!
The Collaborative International Dictionary

County \Coun"ty\ (koun"t[y^]), n.; pl. Counties (-t[i^]z). [F. comt['e], fr. LL. comitatus. See Count.]

  1. An earldom; the domain of a count or earl. [Obs.]

  2. A circuit or particular portion of a state or kingdom, separated from the rest of the territory, for certain purposes in the administration of justice and public affairs; -- called also a shire. See Shire.

    Every county, every town, every family, was in agitation.

  3. A count; an earl or lord. [Obs.]

    County commissioners. See Commissioner.

    County corporate, a city or town having the privilege to be a county by itself, and to be governed by its own sheriffs and other magistrates, irrespective of the officers of the county in which it is situated; as London, York, Bristol, etc. [Eng.]
    --Mozley & W.

    County court, a court whose jurisdiction is limited to county.

    County palatine, a county distinguished by particular privileges; -- so called a palatio (from the palace), because the owner had originally royal powers, or the same powers, in the administration of justice, as the king had in his palace; but these powers are now abridged. The counties palatine, in England, are Lancaster, Chester, and Durham.

    County rates, rates levied upon the county, and collected by the boards of guardians, for the purpose of defraying the expenses to which counties are liable, such as repairing bridges, jails, etc. [Eng.]

    County seat, a county town. [U.S.]

    County sessions, the general quarter sessions of the peace for each county, held four times a year. [Eng.]

    County town, the town of a county, where the county business is transacted; a shire town.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English scir "administrative office, jurisdiction, stewardship, authority," also in particular use "district, province, country," from Proto-Germanic *skizo (cognates: Old High German scira "care, official charge"). Ousted since 14c. by Anglo-French county. The gentrified sense is from The Shires (1796), used by people in other parts of England of those counties that end in -shire; sense transferred to "hunting country of the Midlands" (1860).


n. 1 Former administrative area of Britain; a county. 2 (context UK colloquial English) The general area in which a person lives, used in the context of travel within the UK. 3 A rural or outer suburban local government area of Australi

  1. 4 A shire horse. v

  2. To (reconstitute)constitute as one or more shires or county.

  1. n. a former administrative district of England; equivalent to a county

  2. British breed of large heavy draft horse [syn: shire horse]

Shire (disambiguation)

A shire is a type of region in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Shire or The Shires may also refer to:

Shire (Middle-earth)

The Shire is a region of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, described in The Lord of the Rings and other works. The Shire refers to an area settled exclusively by Hobbits and largely removed from the goings-on in the rest of Middle-earth. It is located in the northwest of the continent, in the large region of Eriador and the Kingdom of Arnor. Its name in Westron was Sûza "Shire" or Sûzat "The Shire". Its name in Sindarin was i Drann.


A ' shire' is a traditional term for a division of land, found in the United Kingdom and Australia. The word derives from the Old English scir, itself a derivative of the Proto-Germanic skizo (cf. Old High German scira), meaning care or official charge. In Britain, "shire" is the original term for what is usually known now as a county; the word county having been introduced at the Norman Conquest of England. The two are nearly synonymous. Although in modern British usage counties are referred to as "shires" mainly in poetic contexts, terms such as Shire Hall remain common. Shire also remains a common part of many county names.

In some rural parts of Australia, a shire is a local government area; however, in Australia it is not synonymous with a "county", which is a lands administrative division. Individually, or as a suffix in Scotland and in the far northeast of England, the word is pronounced . As a suffix in an English or Welsh place name, it is in most regions pronounced , or sometimes . (In south-east England the is dropped in accordance with normal regional phonology, so that (for instance) " Berkshire" becomes .)

Shire (pharmaceutical company)

Shire Plc is a Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company. Originating in the United Kingdom with an operational base in the United States, its brands and products include Vyvanse. Shire has its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Shire has a secondary listing on NASDAQ.

Shire develops and provides healthcare in the areas of behavioural health, gastrointestinal conditions, rare diseases, and regenerative medicine.

The original corporate headquarters and still major operation base are located in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Other major offices are located in the United States in Wayne, Pennsylvania and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition, Shire owns a manufacturing site in Lexington, Massachusetts and San Diego, California. It announced in November 2013 that it would be further reducing its presence in the UK.

Usage examples of "shire".

He would like to see the justice of the peace, or magistrate, who would fine a knight of the shire, or independent member of an independent borough, who in the morning might possibly be brought before him in a state presenting a good imitation of the odious and ungodly crime of drunkenness, which called down the wrath of the moral legislators of the age of King James.

Cranford above once or twice since - once, when I was walking with Miss Matty, in High Street, and suddenly she darted from me, and went up Shire Lane.

Steering in among the skerries Olaf made a landing on the island of Moster, in the shire of Hordaland.

The larger, elder man was Sir Aonghas Dubh, Chief of that ilk, Regulus of the Isles, Earl of Ross, and Earl of Inverness Shire.

Addresses against the treaty were presented to parliament by the convention of boroughs, the commissioners of the general assembly, the company trading to Africa and the Indies, as well as from several shires, stewartries, boroughs, towns, and parishes, in all the different parts of the kingdom, without distinction of whig or tory, episcopalian or presbyterian.

For myself I want a horse, friend Tappet, for snow or no I must sleep in the next shire.

Altogether it was a very unprincely individual who roamed those peril-haunted shires of England.

Sir James Eckert, Baron de Bois de Malencontri in the Shire of Somerset.

To Earl Erik were to be given all the shires along the western coast from Finmark to Lindesness, with the exception of seven shires allotted to Olaf the Swede King.

Willoughby is a considerable village in this shire, situated about three miles and a half southeastward from Alford.

For generations, the earls of Westmorland and Northumberland have ruled in their respective shires like petty kings.

Yamazaki and Blackwell about knowing that Alison Shires was going to try to commit suicide, and now they must think he could see the future.

England was divided into earldoms, earldoms into shires and shires into hundreds.

Shires, glimpsed first as animated headshots, five months into his time at Slitscan, had been a rather ordinarily attractive girl murmuring her stats to imagined casting directors, agents, someone, anyone.

In declaring war upon local jurisdictions, whether of clergy, or nobles, or burghers, or independent shire courts, Henry was defying all the traditions and convictions of his age,--an age when local feeling was a force which we are now quite unable to measure.