\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

The show leaped out of a book: Chantal Thomas’s set placed the action on sheaves of paper, and projections created by 59 Productions ranged from blood stains to old engravings of jungles. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Staging Reimagined Stories in New Mexico," 6 Aug. 2018 Microsoft Sticky Notes are no longer just separate entities, but can actually live together in a sheaf of virtual notes that are both searchable and live in the cloud. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hints of Windows 10's 2019 future show up in early '19H1' builds," 6 Nov. 2018 Judging from the sheaf of letters and cards that Rev. Pierre Vignon is clutching in his soft, plump hands, his uprising has divided churchgoers. John Leicester, Fox News, "In France, rebel priest takes on church bosses on sex abuse," 6 Sep. 2018 For two months Gellhorn stayed in what would later be named the Lincoln Bedroom, helping Eleanor answer sheaves of mail from people in dire straits. Paula Mclain, Town & Country, "The Extraordinary Life of Martha Gellhorn, the Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried to Erase," 12 July 2018 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

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

29 Nov 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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More from Merriam-Webster on sheaf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheaf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheaf

Spanish Central: Translation of sheaf

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

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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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