\ ˈshēth \
plural sheaths\ ˈshēt͟hz , ˈshēths \

Definition of sheath

1 : a case for a blade (as of a knife)
2 : an investing cover or case of a plant or animal body or body part: such as
a : the tubular fold of skin into which the penis of many mammals is retracted
b(1) : the lower part of a leaf when surrounding the stem
(2) : an ensheathing spathe
3 : any of various covering or supporting structures that resemble in appearance or function the sheath of a blade: such as
b : a woman's close-fitting dress that is usually worn without a belt
c British : condom sense 1

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Examples of sheath in a Sentence

the sheath of a sword a piece of wire covered with a plastic sheath

Recent Examples on the Web

The exact canary yellow midi sheath dress that the human rights lawyer famously wore to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nuptials is now available for purchase at Matches Fashion. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Amal Clooney's Custom Yellow Royal Wedding Dress Is Now Available to Buy," 18 Dec. 2018 There are images of the pixie-cut ’90s actress Lori Petty dressed in checked overalls and a sequined hot pink sheath. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Let Gabriel Held’s #unsungsherooffashion Be Your 2019 Style Touchstone," 7 Jan. 2019 The cancer signature detected probably comes from changes in the glycocalyx, a protein and lipid sheath that surrounds the membranes of cells lining the bladder. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Just pee in a cup for bladder cancer detection," 10 Dec. 2018 Already a fashion inspiration, Meghan stood out in a bright yellow Brandon Maxwell sleeveless crepe sheath featuring a boat neck and midi length, paired with tan suede spike heels. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Duchess Meghan dons yellow Brandon Maxwell dress as she and Harry meet Commonwealth youths," 5 July 2018 The suit also states that no latent fingerprints were recovered from the knife nor the knife’s sheath. Danny Mcdonald,, "Estate of Roslindale terror suspect files $5 million lawsuit against federal government," 2 June 2018 One standout nod to nostalgia: a 1950s-era sheath cut with a fishtail silhouette. Rebecca Ramsey, The Cut, "This Michael Kors Dress Feels Retro and Modern at the Same Time," 24 May 2018 Markle’s subdued, striped dress was a refined take on typical beachwear and a cool alternative to the body-skimming sheaths the Duchess favors for most royal engagements. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Meghan Markle Hits the Beach—And Wards Off Bad Vibes—In a Striped Maxi Dress," 19 Oct. 2018 This body-skimming sheath, made from flattering stretch wool, will never go out of style. Caitlin King, The Seattle Times, "5 office essentials for a more fashionable fall," 1 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheath.' 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 sheath

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

History and Etymology for sheath

Middle English shethe, from Old English scēath; akin to Old High German sceida sheath and perhaps to Latin scindere to split — more at shed

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Statistics for sheath

Last Updated

1 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sheath

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

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More Definitions for sheath



English Language Learners Definition of sheath

: a cover for the blade of a knife, sword, etc.
: a protective covering
: a close-fitting dress that does not usually have a belt


\ ˈshēth \
plural sheaths\ ˈshēt͟hz \

Kids Definition of sheath

1 : a case for a blade (as of a knife)
2 : a covering that surrounds and usually protects something


\ ˈshēth \
plural sheaths\ ˈshēt͟hz , ˈshēths \

Medical Definition of sheath

1 : an investing cover or case of a plant or animal body or body part: as
a : the tubular fold of skin into which the penis of many mammals is retracted
b : the connective tissue of an organ or part that binds together its component elements and holds it in place

Other Words from sheath

sheathed adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheath

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheath

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheath

Spanish Central: Translation of sheath

Nglish: Translation of sheath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sheath for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sheath

Comments on sheath

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


to deny responsibility for

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