razorless, adj.
/ray"zeuhr/, n.
1. a sharp-edged instrument used esp. for shaving the face or trimming the hair.
2. an electrically powered instrument used for the same purpose.
3. to shave, cut, or remove with or as if with a razor.
4. on the razor's edge, in a difficult or precarious position.
[1250-1300; ME rasour < OF rasor, equiv. to ras(er) to RAZE + -or -OR2]

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▪ shaving implement
      keen-edged cutting implement for shaving or cutting hair. Prehistoric cave drawings show that clam shells, shark's teeth, and sharpened flints were used as shaving implements, and flints are still in use by certain primitive tribes. Solid gold and copper razors have been found in Egyptian tombs of the 4th millennium BC. According to the Roman historian Livy, the razor was introduced in Rome in the 6th century BC by Lucius Tarquinius (Tarquin) Priscus, legendary king of Rome; but shaving did not become customary until the 5th century BC.

      Steel razors with ornamented handles and individually hollow-ground blades were crafted in Sheffield, Eng., the centre of the cutlery industry, in the 18th and 19th centuries. The hard crucible steel produced there by Benjamin Huntsman (Huntsman, Benjamin) in 1740 was first rejected and then, later, after its adoption in France, deemed superior by the local manufacturers.

      The forerunner of the modern safety razor, a steel blade with a guard along one edge, was made in Sheffield in 1828. In the United States a hoe-shaped safety razor was produced at about the same time, and, at the beginning of the 20th century, King Camp Gillette (Gillette, King Camp) combined the hoe shape with the double-edged replaceable blade. In the early 1960s several countries began to manufacture stainless steel blades for safety razors, with the advantage of longer use.

      The popularity of the long-wearing double-edged blade was greatly eclipsed by the development of inexpensive cartridge-style injector blades, designed to fit into disposable plastic handles. The cartridge had only one cutting edge, but many manufacturers produce a “double-edged” instrument by placing two blades on one side.

      Electric razors were patented as early as 1900 in the United States, but the first to be successfully manufactured was that on which Jacob Schick, a retired U.S. Army colonel, applied for a patent in 1928 and that he placed on the market in 1931. Competitive models soon appeared. In the electric razor a shearing head, driven by a small motor, is divided into two sections: the outer consists of a series of slots to grip the hairs and the inner of a series of saw blades. Models vary in the number and design of the blades, in the shape of the shearing head (round or flat), and in auxiliary devices such as clippers for sideburns.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • razor — (n.) late 13c., from O.Fr. rasour a razor (12c.), from raser to scrape, shave (see RAZE (Cf. raze)). The use of razorback for a type of pig with a sharp ridge like back dates from 1849 …   Etymology dictionary

  • razor — ► NOUN ▪ an instrument with a sharp blade, used to shave unwanted hair from the face or body. ► VERB ▪ cut with a razor. ORIGIN Old French rasor, from raser shave closely …   English terms dictionary

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  • Razor — For other uses, see Razor (disambiguation). Razor A Gillette Mach 3 razor …   Wikipedia

  • razor — n. & v. n. an instrument with a sharp blade used in cutting hair esp. from the skin. v.tr. 1 use a razor on. 2 shave; cut down close. Phrases and idioms: razor back an animal with a sharp ridged back, esp. a rorqual. razor bill an auk, Alca torda …   Useful english dictionary

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