Definition of shin in US English:


nounPlural shins

  • 1The front of the leg below the knee.

    • ‘Work on flexibility everyday, particularly around your hips, thighs, knees, shins and especially your feet.’
    • ‘She was dressed in a beautiful blossom pink skirt that fell a little below the shin.’
    • ‘Most of your weight should be evenly distributed along the shins from the knees to the feet.’
    • ‘Reach forward to elongate the spine, then reach toward the front shin and rest hand here or on the floor, if possible.’
    • ‘There are pieces of armor around her wrists, elbows, knees, thighs and shins.’
    • ‘Raise the foot attached to the pulley and bring it across your body in front of your shin, slightly above your ankle.’
    • ‘Each competitor dons protective padding covering the knees, shins, and feet, and kicking is allowed.’
    • ‘Place right hand on inner thigh, behind right knee, and left hand around shin or ankle of left leg.’
    • ‘Four critical regions of special concern are the ankles, shins or front part of the lower legs, hamstrings or the muscles in the back of the upper legs and lower back.’
    • ‘These gentle giant pushes are usually most effective when used against any part of the ankle, knee, shin or thigh.’
    • ‘As you flex your ankles, knees and hips, the angle of your front shin with the ground should match the angle of your spine with the ground.’
    • ‘In front of the ankle, a prominent tendon from the shin muscles stands out when the foot is pointed upwards.’
    • ‘After a couple of weeks on this schedule, I feel an aching and tenderness along the inside of my shins, between my knees and ankles, both before and after my runs.’
    • ‘Children commonly fall and scrape or bruise the skin covering anterior parts of the body such as the shins, knees, hands, elbows, nose, periorbital area and forehead.’
    • ‘The knobbly bits on your upper shin, just below the knee cap, are called your tibial tuberosities, and there are muscles attached to them.’
    • ‘Raise your knees toward your chest, holding your kneecaps or shins and keeping your knees as close together as you can.’
    • ‘She had ropes which crossed her ankles, shins, thighs, waist, hands, collarbone and throat, each pressing tightly against her.’
    • ‘The designers have also incorporated a soft material where knees and shins usually impact with a car's front end.’
    • ‘Hold your feet perpendicular to your shins to involve the gastrocnemius muscle.’
    • ‘Raise your arms out to the sides, hinge at your hips, place your right hand on the shin or ankle of your right leg and point your left fingertips towards the ceiling.’
    1. 1.1 A cut of beef from the lower part of a cow's leg.
      • ‘Beef stew uses cuts like chuck, blade and shin, which have fat that melts into the sauce, making it velvety and delicious.’
      • ‘For my main course, I had the fillet of Aberdeen beef, with braised shin and green vegetables, served on a bed of creamed celeriac and Madeira sauce.’
      • ‘For example, Star Anise, that peculiar spice that looks like a fossilised flower, has really changed my stews, adding an unfamiliar glamour to shin of beef.’
      • ‘Brian sauntered past his meat cases, into a back room where an employee hacked away at shins of beef, and through the door of his meat refrigerator.’
      • ‘For beef, good casserole cuts are shin, brisket, neck, topside, thick flank or shoulder.’
      • ‘Further south, the Stufato alla romana is based on shin of beef.’
      • ‘I always use shin, because it has such a good flavour and texture, but other cuts are fine.’
      • ‘If you are using a cheaper cut of beef such as shin then it will require longer cooking.’
      • ‘Place the browned bones and the fresh piece of shin in your largest stock pot and cover by at least half an inch with cold water.’

verbshins, shinned, shinning

[no object]shin up/down
  • Climb quickly up or down by gripping with one's arms and legs.

    ‘he shinned up a tree’
    • ‘Now, I don't know what on earth that intruder had in mind when he was discovered in the grounds of the Palace this week, having shinned over an eight-foot wall with a petrol can in his hand.’
    • ‘The object of the ‘climb’ was to shin up to the top of your rope.’
    • ‘A few minutes later I was shinning up the mast to whip a flag halyard to the stays.’
    • ‘I climbed out of the window, shinned down the drain pipe, crossed the back lawn and hopped over the wall.’
    • ‘Firefighters praised a teenage girl who shinned down a drainpipe and rescued her sister and friend trapped in a house blaze.’
    • ‘Then I saw an orthodox Jewish man in full garb shinning over a wall in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘Choking, he clambered out of his bedroom window and shinned down the adjacent drain pipe before frantically hammering on neighbours' doors to call the emergency services.’
    • ‘A man who shinned up a drainpipe and entered a teenager's bedroom in a hostel in the early hours was today starting a 12-month jail term.’
    • ‘A drug addict who raided his mother's home after he shinned up the drainpipe is behind bars for 16 months.’
    • ‘Then, even as it was falling towards the far shore, he shinned as high up its length as possible.’
    • ‘A young boy shinned up the outside of the tower like a monkey.’
    • ‘Damien said a man had shinned up a drainpipe and tried to get into a first-floor room on Thursday night to impress his girlfriend.’
    • ‘There was not a tree on Streatham Common I hadn't shinned up.’
    • ‘Eight lead sheets were taken from the roof of the nave after thieves were believed to have shinned up a central-heating flue, and the changes were being made as a direct result of that.’
    • ‘Others climbed trees and shinned up sections of the Minster.’
    • ‘He used to frighten us all by shinning up lamp posts, or climbing up into the loft or on to our porch.’
    climb, climb down, climb up, clamber down, clamber up, scramble down, scramble up, scrabble down, scrabble up, swarm down, swarm up, shoot down, shoot up, go down, go up
    View synonyms


Old English scinu, probably from a Germanic base meaning ‘narrow or thin piece’; related to German Schiene ‘thin plate’ and Dutch scheen. The verb was originally in nautical use (early 19th century).