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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce shirk (audio)

Dictionary definition of shirk

To avoid or evade one's responsibilities, duties, or obligations intentionally.
"He always tries to shirk his responsibilities at work."

Detailed meaning of shirk

When someone shirks, they are typically trying to escape from tasks or commitments they should be fulfilling, often out of laziness, reluctance, or a desire to avoid the associated effort or consequences. Shirking can occur in various contexts, such as work, family, or social obligations, and it is generally considered a negative behavior as it undermines trust, reliability, and accountability. Those who shirk their responsibilities may leave others to pick up the slack or face the repercussions of their actions, making it important to encourage a sense of responsibility and diligence in personal and professional settings.

Example sentences containing shirk

1. He tried to shirk his chores by pretending to be sick.
2. Don't shirk your responsibilities; face them with diligence.
3. She's known for her tendency to shirk team projects.
4. It's not fair to shirk the blame onto others.
5. He can't shirk his commitment to the project any longer.
6. Avoiding the meeting won't let you shirk your duties.

History and etymology of shirk

The verb 'shirk' has its origins in the Middle English word 'shirken,' which meant 'to evade' or 'to avoid.' It likely shares its roots with Old Norse words like 'skirra,' which means 'to shun' or 'to shrink from.' The sense of avoiding or evading responsibilities, duties, or obligations intentionally is a central theme in the term 'shirk.' When someone 'shirks' their responsibilities, they are essentially shunning or evading their duty or obligation, often by seeking ways to escape or avoid it. The etymology of 'shirk' underscores the notion of deliberately avoiding or evading one's responsibilities, highlighting the intentionality of not fulfilling one's duties or obligations.

Quiz: Find the meaning of shirk

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Further usage examples of shirk

1. Shirked tasks often lead to missed opportunities.
2. She would rather shirk her studies than attend class.
3. Let's not shirk the challenge; let's conquer it together.
4. His attempt to shirk the blame was transparent.
5. It's time to stop shirking and start taking action.
6. Don't shirk your duties; take them seriously.
7. She tends to shirk difficult tasks and pass them on to others.
8. The employee tried to shirk his obligations by pretending to be sick.
9. I will not tolerate anyone who tries to shirk their obligations.
10. You can't shirk your responsibilities just because it's inconvenient.
11. He was caught trying to shirk his military service.
12. Despite his best efforts to shirk, he was assigned an important task.
13. She's always looking for ways to shirk her household chores.
14. They accused him of trying to shirk his financial obligations.
15. It's not fair for you to shirk your part of the project.
16. He tends to shirk difficult decisions and avoids taking a stand.
17. The politician was criticized for attempting to shirk accountability.
18. Don't shirk your commitments; honor them.
19. We mustn't shirk our responsibility to protect the environment.
20. She tried to shirk her role in the team and let others do the work.
21. He has a tendency to shirk his obligations when things get tough.
22. The lazy student tried to shirk his homework by making excuses.
23. You can't shirk your parental duties; your children depend on you.
24. Despite his attempts to shirk the consequences, he was held accountable for his actions.



avoid, undertake, confront, embrace


Denial and Defiance, Discipline and Control, Middle School 16, Responsibility and Obligation

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