Definition of shirt in English:



  • 1A garment for the upper body made of cotton or a similar fabric, with a collar, sleeves, and buttons down the front.

    • ‘The boy's shirt has sweat all down the front of it.’
    • ‘We then proceeded to a bunch of neatly ironed shirts on wire hangers.’
    • ‘She was wearing a white short-sleeved men's shirt with a pair of black denim pants.’
    • ‘His black silk shirt was unbuttoned, but for Daman, this was nothing new.’
    • ‘He was similarly dressed except that his shirt hung more loosely over his body.’
    • ‘He wore a tight, white, long-sleeved, button-up shirt.’
    • ‘He wore his white chambray shirt and purple vest, black chinos, and leather boots.’
    • ‘Wear your new striped button-down shirt with jeans, chinos or corduroy pants.’
    • ‘Wear a white shirt with tan pants and a dark overcoat with confidence.’
    • ‘He was wearing all black, his shirt clinging onto his body showing of muscles.’
    • ‘He jogged up to walk beside me, his tie untied, the top two buttons of his shirt undone, his sleeves pushed up to his elbows.’
    • ‘We have a business casual dress code at my office, which means collared shirts without a tie.’
    • ‘The three men were also dressed alike: denim jeans, long-sleeved plaid shirts, and work boots.’
    • ‘She wore a plaid flannel shirt that went down her hips, and no pants.’
    • ‘He wore a white and blue striped shirt with blue jeans.’
    • ‘He himself had a red collared shirt with jeans on.’
    • ‘His outfit consisted of a white cotton dress shirt with a black bow tie and matching shoes.’
    • ‘The making of women's blouses also bought the cut of men's shirts.’
    • ‘There was a gentleman behind me walking on his own with his shirt open.’
    • ‘His tie was loose, and the top 2 buttons of his shirt undone with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows.’
    1. 1.1usually with modifier A shirtlike garment made of stretchable material, typically having a short row of buttons at the neck, worn as casual wear or for sports.
      ‘a rugby shirt’
      • ‘Already seated were two older men, both dressed casually in khaki pants and open sport shirts, and wearing serious but dour expressions on their faces.’
      • ‘He was wearing a blue polo shirt with black pants.’
      • ‘Cutting to the chase, I came to the conclusion that the answer was the minimal increase in warmth obtained by wearing a rugby shirt rather than a T-shirt.’
      • ‘All was going well until we went to the Crescent Hotel where I was refused entry for wearing a sports shirt, even after pointing out what day it was.’
      • ‘The next night he returned, wearing the same rugby shirt.’
      • ‘When I pulled up in front of his apartment building, Nellie stood there dressed in jeans and a sport shirt.’
      • ‘He was wearing a long trench coat, a red and white rugby shirt, blue jeans and may have had black shoes.’
      • ‘I get a whiff of it when I appear on television and see employees of major networks dressed in casual slacks and sport shirts with no ties.’
      • ‘To see so many children wearing their rugby shirts and baseball caps with pride says so much about what the club have achieved off the pitch as well as on it.’
      • ‘I was wearing my Chelsea FC shirt outside my black jeans, with trainers and topped off with my £250 leather jacket.’
      • ‘He was so obviously on the rugby team as he was just enormous and always wore a rugby shirt in the union colours.’
      • ‘She sported a white tank-top shirt that was worn around her slim, feminine body.’
      • ‘I usually wear khakis and a sport shirt to gun shows, and I blend in pretty well.’
      • ‘I'm still working on it, but I did start a trend by wearing bowling shirts sporting some true flair.’
      • ‘He wore khaki shorts and a red short sleeve polo shirt.’
      • ‘The frog bra doesn't completely eliminate bounce for me, so I wear a snug fitting Lycra sport shirt as well.’
      • ‘Another great opportunity is woven dress shirts and woven sport shirts.’
      • ‘As if I couldn't get enough of the sport at practice I had to wear a soccer shirt too.’
      • ‘It's no surprise to find that he donated the rugby shirt he wore in jail to the production.’
      • ‘About 20 players performed drills with singular enthusiasm and varying attire, including soccer shirts and baseball caps worn backwards.’


  • keep your shirt on

    • informal Don't lose your temper; stay calm.

      • ‘‘Keep your shirt on, will you?’ her colleague said, but he didn't raise his club again.’
      • ‘You'll also read about brandy's rules, dress for success, chill on the jewelry, polish your cleats, hike up your socks, and, OK, keep your shirt on.’
      • ‘I told him to keep his shirt on, no matter what the provocation.’
      • ‘‘All right, all right, geez, keep your shirt on, please,’ said Victoria as she got up and was about to walk into the water.’
      • ‘You're gonna be ten minutes late, so just keep your shirt on.’
      • ‘She crossed her arms and gave him a patient look, ‘Well, if you would keep your shirt on, maybe you wouldn't get dirty.’’
  • lose one's shirt

    • informal Lose all one's possessions.

      • ‘Their brother-in-law lost his shirt on soybeans but that's because he bought it on thin margin.’
      • ‘These nights always attract a large crowd, and turn out to be most enjoyable, even if you lose your shirt.’
      • ‘Being in technology stocks in this bubble gives you a much higher risk of losing your shirt than if you are not in them.’
      • ‘I could end up just losing my shirt on this whole thing, but these guys are pretty good at what they do.’
      • ‘I might lose my shirt - but I know he'd pay up with a smile when my queens over eights beat his flush.’
      • ‘When you bet wrong in the former you lose your shirt, when you bet wrong in the latter, lives are lost.’
      • ‘I bought it again a few years later and lost my shirt - and I have owned up to all my stock losses when the bubble burst.’
      • ‘He tries organizing competing industries, but loses his shirt.’
      • ‘You can lose your shirt just the same in bonds as you can in equities in bad situations.’
      • ‘Whether he was hoping for a literal metaphor that expressed very clearly how he had lost his shirt, I cannot say.’
      • ‘But the fact is that I like casinos, they're actually fun, and you can play games and not lose your shirt.’
      • ‘This was before the Indian casinos turned Connecticut into a nice state to drive through and lose your shirt in.’
      • ‘It's curious, though, there was a blue ribbon panel of six experts who said, this will never work, the public will not accept it and you'll lose your shirt.’
      • ‘You could lose your shirt on the horses, then cross the road and lose your trousers in the casino.’
      • ‘When I lost my shirt in a poor investment you were there.’
      • ‘If you don't know how to play, you're going to lose your shirt.’
  • the shirt off (or on) one's back

    • informal One's last remaining possessions.

      ‘we share things—we'd give our shirt off our back to another’
      • ‘About what a good person he is to have as a friend, and how he would give anyone, even his worst enemy, the shirt off his back.’
      • ‘He'd give you anything, including the shirt off his back, if you asked him.’
      • ‘He'd give anyone the shirt off his back if he thought they needed it.’
      • ‘He learned that if he took the shirt off your back and showed you the blood of children in the fabric, people would snap alert.’
      • ‘He's a guy who would literally give you the shirt off his back and he has two beautiful children.’
      • ‘And Afghans themselves are very generous hosts; they would give you the shirt off their back if they felt you needed it.’
      • ‘He was a tough ole cowboy who would give you the shirt off his back.’
      • ‘‘He was the best… he would give you his heart and soul, he'd give you the shirt off his back or a coat to a stranger,’ said his father Eamonn yesterday with a justifiable pride in his voice.’
      • ‘They've treated everybody fairly, and they will give you the shirt off their back.’
      • ‘A Scorpio will gladly give you the shirt off their back if you need it, but you may get the slightest inkling that they have an ulterior motive for doing so.’


Old English scyrte, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse skyrta (compare with skirt), Dutch schort, German Schürze ‘apron’, also to short; probably from a base meaning ‘short garment’.