a. A husk, pod, or shell of a seed, nut, or fruit, such as a pecan or an ear of corn.
b. A shell of a bivalve, such as an oyster or clam.
c. The exoskeleton or pupal case of an insect larva or nymph, especially one that has been shed.
2. often shucks Informal Something worthless: an issue that didn't amount to shucks.
tr.v. shucked, shuck·ing, shucks
a. To remove the husk or shell from: shuck corn.
b. To open the shell of (a bivalve): shuck oysters.
2. Informal To cast off: shucked their coats and cooled off; a city trying to shuck a sooty image.
interj. shucks (shŭks)
Used to express mild disappointment, disgust, or annoyance.
[Origin unknown. Interj., alteration of SHIT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.