\ ˈshēf How to pronounce sheaf (audio) \
plural sheaves\ ˈshēvz How to pronounce sheaves (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 sheaflike (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 And Herman Wouk, the prolific, best-selling, movie-inspiring author who practically died writing, mid-book, leaving a sheaf of blank pages. William Mcdonald, New York Times, "In a Year of Notable Deaths, a World of Women Who Shattered Ceilings," 26 Dec. 2019 At one point, a panicked woman approached, clutching a sheaf of papers. Tommy Trenchard, Harper's magazine, "Oceans Apart," 6 Jan. 2020 At the May 2018 hearing, Weiland glanced down at the sheaves of exhibits before him. T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, "The Navy installed touch-screen steering systems to save money.," 20 Dec. 2019 During an 18-month excavation, the archaeologists unearthed objects such as a gold ring engraved with two bulls surrounded by sheaves of grain, as well as a gold pendant depicting an Egyptian goddess who protected the dead. Rory Sullivan And Elinda Labropoulou, CNN, "Archaeologists uncover treasure-filled 'princely' tombs in Greece," 18 Dec. 2019 Carr raced back to his desk and laid out the contents of the package: a sheaf of papers running into a few dozen pages. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, CNN, "How the FBI tracked down 'the spy who couldn't spell'," 1 Nov. 2019 The resulting buzz from those famous gigs and songs are represented with a sheaf of label paperwork: proposals, contracts and other assorted legalese, marked up with Buckley’s astute questions and comments. Jordan Runtagh,, "New Book of Jeff Buckley’s Journals and Belongings Offers a Vivid Self-Portrait of the Late Artist," 31 Oct. 2019 Early on the following morning, farmers began to arrive from the countryside with sheaves of marigolds overflowing from the backs of their pickup trucks or tied to the tops of their cars., "Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe," 17 Oct. 2019 Dean Lushman, a former Canadian infantryman who had become an instructor with the ranger program, hauled out a sheaf of brownish paper targets, stapled them to sticks, and planted half a dozen in the snow outside our camp. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "A thawing Arctic is heating up a new Cold War," 21 Aug. 2019

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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Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sheaf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sheaf


How to pronounce sheaf (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheaf

Spanish Central: Translation of sheaf

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

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