sheath

noun

plural sheaths ˈshēt͟hz How to pronounce sheath (audio)
ˈshēths
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

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 According to the affidavit — which was previously reviewed by PEOPLE — a sheath of the knife used in the stabbings was left at the scene in the bed where Maddie and Kaylee were found deceased. Corin Cesaric, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2023 Last night, Nicola decided to wear a leather sheath with vertiginous platform stilettos and slash of red lipstick. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 26 Sep. 2023 One morning this past July, Sarah Glenn, a textile conservator based in London, eased a protective sheath off a tailor’s dummy in her studio, in the Battersea district, to reveal a dress belonging to the collection of the Fashion Museum in Bath. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 Heim, who suffered a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist on July 26 against the Astros, had exclusively batted from the left side since he was activated from the injury list on Aug. 13. Shawn McFarland, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 In our own solar system, there is no rule that explains which worlds generate these magnetic sheaths: Earth, for example, has one, but its sister world — Venus — does not. Quanta Magazine, 7 Aug. 2023 On the second floor, police found the bodies of housemate Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, both 20. CLICK HERE FOR MORE TRUE CRIME On a knife sheath under Mogen's body, investigators allegedly recovered a DNA sample that led them to Kohberger, according to a probable cause affidavit. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 3 Nov. 2023 Although a knife sheath was found near the body of one of the victims, authorities say the murder weapon has not been found. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, 27 Sep. 2023 The professor was still onstage, taking questions from the audience, and speculating about how the knife sheath found at the scene with the suspect’s DNA on it might be considered at trial. Mike Baker, New York Times, 8 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sheath.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English shethe, going back to Old English scǣþ, scēaþ (Northumbrian sceǣþ), scēþ, going back to Germanic *skaiþjō or *skaiþō (whence also Old Frisian skēthe "sheath," Old Saxon skēdia, skēthia, Old High German skeida, Old Icelandic skeiðir, plural), probably noun derivative of *skaiđan-/skaiþan- "to separate, divide" — more at shed entry 1

Note: The original meaning of the Germanic noun was presumably "something split, separated," i.e., two pieces that are split (literally or metaphorically) and that together held the blade; note that the Old Norse noun was plural (the singular skeið meant "weaver's reed, silver spoon").

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sheath

Cite this Entry

“Sheath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sheath. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

sheath

noun
plural sheaths ˈshēt͟hz How to pronounce sheath (audio)
ˈshēths
1
: a case for a blade (as of a knife)
2
: a covering especially of a body part that is like a sheath in form or use

Medical Definition

sheath

noun
plural sheaths ˈshēt͟hz How to pronounce sheath (audio) ˈshēths How to pronounce sheath (audio)
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
2
sheathed adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on sheath

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