Definition of shuck in US English:



North American
  • 1An outer covering such as a husk or pod, especially the husk of an ear of corn.

    • ‘Regional fuels like steam from the deep Earth or excess corn shucks will enter custom-designed micropower plants for local feeds to the microgrid.’
    • ‘The knife used to cut shucks of corn and associated with Lena Lingard.’
    skin, peel, covering, zest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The shell of an oyster or clam.
    2. 1.2 The integument of certain insect pupae or larvae.
  • 2informal A person or thing regarded as worthless or contemptible.

    ‘William didn't dig the idea at all and said it was a shuck’
    damn, damnation, blast, hell, heck, gordon bennett
    View synonyms


North American
  • Used to express surprise, regret, irritation, or, in response to praise, self-deprecation.

    ‘“Thank you for getting it.” “Oh, shucks, it was nothing.”’
    See also aw-shucks
    • ‘‘Aww shucks,’ Ruth gave up on an attempt to conceal her own watering eyes.’
    • ‘And be afraid of losing your job, of unionised labour, of cheap foreign imports, of immigrants stealing your jobs… aw, shucks… just be afraid okay?’
    • ‘Aw, shucks Thanks for such a kind introduction, Eugene.’
    • ‘‘Aw, shucks,’ he may suddenly say, as the discussions on global warming drag on, ‘why don't we all just go out and hit the greens?’’
    • ‘Hatch says, ‘I didn't understand why anyone would be scared of me’ - aw, shucks!’
    • ‘Moni-chan smiled and shrugged in a way that said ‘aw, shucks.’’
    • ‘Aww, shucks, my uncle's stupid horse just knocked himself into the wall, catch you at the ball!’
    • ‘They are also the friendliest and most unabashedly contrite with ‘Aww, shucks!’’
    • ‘Oh, shucks, and here I was thinking that was you.’


[with object]North American
  • 1Remove the shucks from corn or shellfish.

    ‘shuck and drain the oysters’
    • ‘Sitting outside the house shucking oysters is still a common sight in Kinmen, as it has been for the last few centuries.’
    • ‘To shuck oysters at home, grasp the curved end of each with a towel and, working over a fine strainer set in a bowl to catch juices, push the tip of an oyster knife firmly between the top and bottom shell at the hinge, then twist.’
    • ‘It's funny how standing and watching someone shuck raw oysters makes people want to tell their story about the one bad experience they had with the slippery little critters.’
    • ‘On Maryland's Eastern Shore, day laborers show up to shuck oysters, no questions asked, no documents needed.’
    • ‘The Sancimino boys who run it now are big guys with white aprons and thick forearms, from shucking so many oysters.’
    • ‘Every single oyster bar one was badly shucked, causing me mouthful upon mouthful of shell.’
    • ‘It is a spicy, soupy stew that can feature a variety of ingredients - chunks of andouille sausage, pieces of chicken or game, crab claws, or shucked oysters.’
    • ‘This dish contains oysters shucked and drained and wrapped in bacon slices and baked for 10 minutes in a hot oven.’
    • ‘The kids prep vegetables for the chowder; another group starts shucking corn.’
    • ‘Anywhere you go in Maryland, you can have a delectable meal of a just-caught fish, or perhaps some freshly shucked oysters, or the state's famous blue crabs, prepared in a multitude of delirious ways.’
    • ‘Shellfish can remind us of treasured times - going clam digging with the family, slurping down oysters on the half shell at a raw bar with friends, or shucking them yourself in the hopes of finding a pearl.’
    • ‘But we weren't just in town to shuck oysters and draw butter.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, seafood restaurants such as Shuckers draw in custom by shucking oysters non-stop in the front window.’
    • ‘When we shucked fresh oysters (his favourite) off the rocks and dreamt of finding a black pearl that would make us be rich forever.’
    • ‘Have the oysters shucked at the market up to 1 day ahead; set, cup side up, on a rimmed tray; cover and chill.’
    • ‘Any excuse to slurp a decent oyster, but Racine's Henry Harris, who has shucked a few in his time, recommends a platter of ‘wild native oysters, from a forgotten oyster bed’.’
    • ‘He deftly shucks three oysters for his visitor.’
    • ‘Next shuck the oysters; wrap your left hand in a tea towel] assuming you are right handed] and place an oyster cup side down, hinge towards you in your palm.’
    • ‘Mussels are sweet and tender, native oysters still begging to be shucked.’
    • ‘She spent her entire life shucking oysters at her mam and dad's Whitstable seafood parlour.’
    shell, husk, peel, pare, skin
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Take off (a garment)
      ‘she shucked off her nightdress and started dressing’
      • ‘I shucked off my coat, gloves, shoes, socks, and goggles and rolled up my pants.’
      • ‘She shucked off her shoes and tights, preferring to go au natural when it came to foot wear (always excepting when she was in a town.’
      • ‘He collapsed into a roll when he hit the ground and shucked off the parachute.’
      • ‘The guys shucked off their clothes with little thought to modesty, causing Danny's face to redden as she averted her gaze.’
      • ‘He immediately shucked off his outer coat and draped it over his shoulder.’
      • ‘He kicked his sandals toward the fire and shucked off his tunic.’
      • ‘She dumped her bag with her case notes inside on the dark oak table, shucked off her shoes and padded across the ceramic tiled floor to the food bowls and the baleful cats.’
      • ‘He grunted, stood, shucked his pack and rifle, started back down the slope.’
      • ‘She shucked off her cloak and jumped onto a stack of barrels near the main mast.’
      • ‘Patty Lou always kept her cafe a little on the warm side, a subtle invitation to her customers to shuck their coats and settle themselves for a nice, long, and leisurely meal.’
      • ‘David shucked off his jacket and hung it on the coat rack before heading for the rehearsal room.’
      • ‘I shucked off my boots, one at a time, letting them lie where they fell, then just dropped face first onto the bed and tried to relax.’
      • ‘She stood, shucked her breeches then slipped into the steaming water, her fur floating out in a ruff at the waterline.’
      • ‘‘No,’ Jack said, tossing him a bitter look as he shucked off his shoes.’
      • ‘I ran to my room shucked off my clothes, threw them in the hamper, changed in to my nightclothes then flung my self on to my bed.’
      • ‘Mackenzie shucked his rucksack and set it on the sand.’
      • ‘She stood up and began shucking her breeches, still talking.’
      • ‘He wandered to the edge of the water and shucked off his clothes.’
      • ‘He was about to shuck his clothes with disregard for personal safety and dive in to look for her when the pool began to bubble.’
      • ‘She nodded, stepped inside, shucked off her backpack and looked around for a place to put it.’
    2. 1.2informal Abandon; get rid of.
      ‘the regime's ability to shuck off its totalitarian characteristics’
      • ‘Now living on five bucolic acres in Township, Ohio, Eszterhas is a changed man, having shucked the glitz and booze for daily five-mile walks and more time with his four young sons.’
      • ‘They got rid of their cafeterias, shucked their travel offices, and reduced their human-resources staffs.’
      • ‘Freed from Middle America, her focus shifted to New York's literary society, where two women hold a torch for the celebrity novelist who has shucked them off.’
      • ‘From the very beginning, as the sun climbed higher in the sky, humankind has looked onwards and upwards, shucked off winter despair and scratched around for something new to do.’
      • ‘She had already shucked the remaining bread in the box to make room for the new load.’
      • ‘Golkar, he said, had shucked off its authoritarian past and now stood for democracy and the rule of the law.’
      • ‘Nature has blessed the British Columbia coast with abundant seafood, and Canada has long ago shucked off its meat-and-potatoes attitude towards dining out - though there are still plenty of places to get really good steak and chips.’
      • ‘The hurried yells of the seaman brought Blaine's head up, and induced his head to lazily drift upwards, towards a large raft that had been shucked out to the bow.’
      • ‘New kick-return specialist Brian Mitchell is highly motivated, having been shucked by the Eagles in their annual cost-cutting purge.’
      discard, get rid of, dispose of, do away with, drop, abandon, throw out, jettison, lose, scrap, cast aside, cast off, dump, have done with, reject, repudiate
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Cause (someone) to believe something that is not true; fool or tease.

    make fun of, poke fun at, chaff, make jokes about, rag, mock, laugh at, guy, satirize, be sarcastic about
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: of unknown origin.