Shiver vs Shier - What's the difference?

shiver | shier |

As a noun shiver

is a fragment or splinter, especially of glass or stone or shiver can be the act or result of shivering.

As a verb shiver

is to break into splinters or fragments or shiver can be to tremble or shake, especially when cold or frightened.

As an adjective shier is


Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Etymology 1

From a Germanic word, probably present in Old English though unattested, cognate with Old High German scivaro'' (German ''Schiefer ‘slate’).


(en noun)
  • A fragment or splinter, especially of glass or stone.
  • (obsolete, UK, dialect) A thin slice; a shive.
  • * Fuller
  • a shiver of their own loaf
  • (geology) A variety of blue slate.
  • (nautical) A sheave or small wheel in a pulley.
  • A small wedge, as for fastening the bolt of a window shutter.
  • (obsolete, UK, dialect) A spindle.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To break into splinters or fragments.
  • * 1851 ,
  • But if, in the face of all this, you still declare that whaling has no aesthetically noble associations connected with it, then am I ready to shiver fifty lances with you there, and unhorse you with a split helmet every time.
  • * 1904 , (Arthur Conan Doyle), The Adventure of the Six Napoleons , Norton (2005), page 1034:
  • he found a plaster bust of Napoleon, which stood with several other works of art upon the counter, lying shivered into fragments.
  • * 2010 , (Christopher Hitchens), Hitch-22 , Atlantic 2011, p. 183:
  • A whole series of fault lines radiated away from this Lisbon earthquake, all of them shivering the structures of traditional order.
    Derived terms
    * shiver my timbers

    Etymology 2

    Origin uncertain, perhaps an alteration of chavel.


    (en verb)
  • To tremble or shake, especially when cold or frightened.
  • * Creech
  • The man that shivered on the brink of sin, / Thus steeled and hardened, ventures boldly in.
  • * 1847 , , (Jane Eyre), Chapter XVIII
  • Mr. Mason, shivering as some one chanced to open the door, asked for more coal to be put on the fire, which had burnt out its flame, though its mass of cinder still shone hot and red. The footman who brought the coal, in going out, stopped near Mr. Eshton's chair, and said something to him in a low voice, of which I heard only the words, "old woman,"—"quite troublesome."
  • * 1922 , (Margery Williams), (The Velveteen Rabbit)
  • He was shivering a little, for he had always been used to sleeping in a proper bed, and by this time his coat had worn so thin and threadbare from hugging that it was no longer any protection to him.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=David Simpson
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=36, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Fantasy of navigation , passage=Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.}}
  • (nautical) To cause to shake or tremble, as a sail, by steering close to the wind.
  • Noun

    (en noun)
  • The act or result of shivering.
  • :
  • *
  • *:But they had already discovered that he could be bullied, and they had it their own way; and presently Selwyn lay prone upon the nursery floor, impersonating a ladrone while pleasant shivers chased themselves over Drina, whom he was stalking.
  • (lb) A bodily response to early hypothermia.(w)
  • Derived terms

    * send shivers down someone's spine






  • (shy)
  • Anagrams





  • Easily frightened; timid.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • The horses of the army were no longer shy , but would come up to my very feet without starting.
  • Reserved; disinclined to familiar approach.
  • He is very shy with strangers.
  • * Arbuthnot
  • What makes you so shy , my good friend? There's nobody loves you better than I.
  • Cautious; wary; suspicious.
  • * Boyle
  • I am very shy of using corrosive liquors in the preparation of medicines.
  • * Sir H. Wotton
  • Princes are, by wisdom of state, somewhat shy of their successors.
  • Short, insufficient or less than.
  • By our count your shipment came up two shy of the bill of lading amount.
    It is just shy of a mile from here to their house.
  • Embarrassed.
  • See also

    * bashful * reserved * timid * demure * coy

    Usage notes

    * Often used in combination with a noun to produce an adjective or adjectival phrase. * Adjectives are usually applicable to animals (leash-shy'' "shy of leashes" or ''head shy "shy of contact around the head" (of horses)) or to children.


    * See also


    * brazen * bold * audacious

    Derived terms

    (terms derived using shy as suffix) * -shy * bird-shy * boy-shy * car-shy * cat-shy * camera-shy * cover-shy * girl-shy * gun-shy * hand-shy * man-shy * mouse-shy * noise-shy * people-shy * water-shy * woman-shy * work-shy


  • To avoid due to timidness or caution.
  • I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
  • To jump back in fear.
  • The horse shied''' away from the rider, which startled him so much he '''shied away from the horse.
  • to throw sideways with a jerk; to fling
  • to shy''' a stone; to '''shy a slipper


  • An act of throwing.
  • (Thackeray)
  • * Punch
  • If Lord Brougham gets a stone in his hand, he must, it seems, have a shy at somebody.
  • * 2008 , (James Kelman), Kieron Smith, Boy , Penguin 2009, p. 55:
  • The game had started. A man was chasing the ball, it went out for a shy .
  • A place for throwing.
  • coconut shy
  • A sudden start aside, as by a horse.
  • In the Eton College wall game, a point scored by lifting the ball against the wall in the calx.
  • Derived terms

    * coconut shy