Definition of shirr in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Gather (an area of fabric or part of a garment) by means of drawn or elasticized threads in parallel rows.

    ‘I shirred the waist and the back panel’
    ‘shirring is flattering to all figure types’
    • ‘Aside from pushing up and squeezing together, ruffles and shirring add some dimension to make you look bigger.’
    • ‘By shirring the sleeves and quilting the cuffs the moiré blended well with the brocade pattern.’
    • ‘In one case I got as far as the building's entryway, which was being used to store bags of shirred fabric in pink-and-purple plaid.’
    • ‘The process of shirring, gathering and tucking took over, but these techniques did not solve its basic architectural problem.’
    • ‘Strapless or V-neck tops, corsets and kimonos with shaped waists fit the bill, while ruched or shirred details can also help create shape and a lean line.’
    • ‘We shirred the plaid between bands of the solid.’
    • ‘An early shirred rug with a soft, faded palette of multicolored flowers that was once riotously bold hangs in the principal bedroom.’
    • ‘The chiffon shirred strapless bodice curved naturally into her body, and the satin skirt spilled over the floor.’
    • ‘Instead of getting too lost in my suddenly changed world, I remember she was wearing a green and blue plaid dress with some pastel shirring on the bib area, black Mary Janes and blue tights.’
    • ‘She opened her show with business wear, starting with a beautifully fitted navy wool jacket with shirred collar and cuffs paired with a pencil skirt.’
    • ‘Rosie's bath picks up the bedroom's palette in the pastel yellow wallpaper scattered with flowers and a soft shirred fabric that conceals the contents in the vanity's tall cabinets.’
    pleat, pucker, tuck, fold, corrugate, ruffle, crimp, crease, scrunch up
    View synonyms
  • 2US Bake (an egg without its shell)

    ‘the eggs were gently shirred with creme fraiche’
    • ‘Silver lids were lifted to reveal English-style bacon, shirred eggs, salmon quiche studded with caviar, and a selection of summer fruits and berries served in an elegantly carved melon.’
    • ‘Variations of the basic shirred egg may include the addition of herbs, cheese, and/or cream.’
    • ‘This recipe for shirring eggs in ham cups provides an elegant way to serve ham and eggs to a large group.’
    • ‘When I get around to shirring an egg, I'll try this.’


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.