• To fall apart into shards, usually as the result of impact or explosion.
  • To break (something) into shards.
  • To divide (an MMORPG) into several shards, or to establish a shard of one.


  • From Middle English shard, scherd, scheard, schord, from Old English sċeard, from Proto-Germanic *skardą, from *skardaz, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker-. Akin to Scots schaird, French écharde, Dutch schaarde, German Scharte, Old Norse skarð ( > Danish skår).
  • The database sense is perhaps derived from the online gaming sense{{cite-web
  • |url=
  • |date=2009-01-18
  • |title=Database “sharding” came from UO?
  • |work=Raph Koster's Website
  • |author=Raph Koster
  • |authorlink=Raph Koster
  • or from SHARD (System for Highly Available Replicated Data), name of a 1980s database product.

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