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To shear something is to cause a shear strain, by application of a shear stress. Recall that the shear stress (σ) is given by the applied force over the area, namely σ = F / A, and the shear strain (e) is given by e = Δx / y. See Figure 1 for clarification.

Figure 1, taken from reference [1]


[1] R. Jones, "Soft Condensed Matter," Oxford University Press Inc., New York (2002)