\ˈshēf \
plural sheaves\ˈshēvz \

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 \ 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

While the green jojoba fields resisted the flames, dry wheat sheaves almost ready for harvest acted like kindling. Noga Tarnopolsky,, "Palestinians vow to press on with border protests in Gaza as U.N. calls for inquiry," 18 May 2018 More than that, each justice seems to be more interested in speaking for his or her self, with a thick sheaf of concurring and dissenting opinions in more cases. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: The Supreme Court has a blockbuster season," 3 May 2018 Todd McNair slipped into the front row in the fifth-floor room at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, rested a foot-thick sheaf of documents on his lap and yawned. Nathan Fenno,, "Seven years after suing the NCAA, Todd McNair will finally take the witness stand on Thursday," 3 May 2018 Jerry clutched a sheaf of press clippings and documents, yellowed by time. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "A brother’s long, lonely fight to solve the city of Kodiak’s only unsolved murder," 2 May 2018 That means key Democratic voters — those who are most likely to vote in primary elections and thus will be targeted by candidates — will be wading through sheaves of campaign mailings and ads in the run-up to the June primary. Jennifer Barrios, Washington Post, "In Maryland’s largest jurisdiction, contest for county executive seen as anybody’s race," 19 Apr. 2018 With his fussy pince-nez and ever-present sheaf of papers, Beale makes Beria seem like the most evil accountant in the world, a torturer and rapist who is simply making a list and checking it twice. Katie Walsh, idahostatesman, "Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ a mix of absurd, tragic comedy | Idaho Statesman," 5 Apr. 2018 One such incident, says Mr. Alyahya, occurred at a Washington, D.C. five-star hotel in March, when a Saudi man spotted a government minister traveling with Prince Mohammed’s delegation and thrust a sheaf of documents at him. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Welcome to the Saudi Royal Court. Please Enjoy a Pumpernickel Bagel.," 4 Apr. 2018 Bisig also ruled that Butler could testify that Lovins left jail with a sheaf of court papers – evidence from Jackson’s murder Kelly gave him to bone up on the crime and make a more accurate alibi. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Detective was 'shocked' that state cut lenient deal with convicted killer Ricky Kelly," 12 Dec. 2017

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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Statistics for sheaf

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for sheaf

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

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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 \
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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Comments on sheaf

What made you want to look up sheaf? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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