\ ˈshēf How to pronounce sheaf (audio) \
plural sheaves\ ˈshēvz How to pronounce sheaf (audio) \

Definition of sheaf

1 : a quantity of the stalks and ears of a cereal grass or sometimes other plant material bound together
2 : something resembling a sheaf of grain a sheaf of papers
3 : a large amount or number

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Other Words from sheaf

sheaflike \ ˈshēf-​ˌlīk How to pronounce sheaf (audio) \ adjective

Examples of sheaf in a Sentence

contends that casino gambling would generate a sheaf of social problems for the state
Recent Examples on the Web Mexican authorities apparently can't grant authorization based on what may be a sheaf of photocopies from who-knows-where obtained through back channels. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, "Mexico near approving Russian vaccine, with little data," 26 Jan. 2021 Pottery Barn’s Dried Wheat Wreath, for example, comprises a sheaf-like circle of stalks, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Why You’ll Want a Simpler Christmas Wreath in 2020," 3 Dec. 2020 There was a predictable sheaf of disclosures, waivers and so forth. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: These Utahns are among the thousands who helped advance a coronavirus vaccine," 18 Nov. 2020 One of the last fellows to speak was Woong Hwang, an MD/PhD student at Yale, who held up a sheaf of white paper covered in black type. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "Want to Feel Proud of the U.S.? Meet These 30 New Americans," 13 Nov. 2020 At Team 12’s table, a man held a sheaf of ballots, declared the name of the candidate on each one, and handed it to a woman standing across the table who double-checked him, then placed the ballot in a bin with the candidate’s name. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Examine Ballot. Recite Name. Sort Into Bin. Repeat 5 Million Times.," 13 Nov. 2020 For an even more eye-catching display, think past the traditional fall wreath and decorate your front door with a basket overflowing with seasonal flowers, a decorative sign, or a simplistic sheaf. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 Inviting Ideas for Fall Door Decor That Go Beyond Wreaths," 22 Sep. 2020 During a free-associative speech, Mr. Trump directed an aide to bring him a sheaf of news clippings, reminisced at length about his 2016 victory, criticized windmills and provided xenophobic pop culture commentary. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "President Declares the Winner of the Democratic Debate: Donald Trump," 20 Feb. 2020 When Coke died, in 1842, a stone column with a wheat sheaf on top was erected at Holkham. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Can Farming Make Space for Nature?," 10 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheaf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sheaf

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sheaf

Middle English sheef, from Old English scēaf; akin to Old High German scoub sheaf, Russian chub forelock

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Time Traveler for sheaf

Time Traveler

The first known use of sheaf was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sheaf

Last Updated

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sheaf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for sheaf



English Language Learners Definition of sheaf

: a bunch of stalks and ears of grain that are tied together after being cut
: a group of things fastened together


\ ˈshēf How to pronounce sheaf (audio) \
plural sheaves\ ˈshēvz \

Kids Definition of sheaf

1 : a bundle of stalks and ears of grain
2 : a group of things fastened together a sheaf of papers

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheaf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheaf

Nglish: Translation of sheaf for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sheaf

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