1. Any of numerous cartilaginous fishes of the subclass Elasmobranchii that are chiefly carnivorous and marine. Sharks have a streamlined torpedolike body, five to seven gill openings on each side of the head, a large oil-filled liver, and tough skin covered with small toothlike scales.
2. Informal A person, such as a loan shark, who takes advantage of the misfortune of others for personal gain.
3. Informal A person unusually skilled in a particular activity: a card shark.
v. sharked, shark·ing, sharks
To obtain by deceitful or underhand means.
To take advantage of others for personal gain, especially by fraud and trickery.
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.