\ ˈshēṯẖ How to pronounce sheathe (audio) \
variants: or less commonly sheath \ ˈshēth How to pronounce sheath (audio) \
sheathed; sheathing

Definition of sheathe

transitive verb

1 : to put into or furnish with a sheath
2 : to plunge or bury (a weapon, such as a sword) in flesh
3 : to withdraw (a claw) into a sheath
4 : to case or cover with something (such as sheets of metal) that protects

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sheathe

sheather \ ˈshē-​ṯẖər How to pronounce sheather (audio) , -​thər \ noun

Synonyms for sheathe


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sheathe in a Sentence

sometimes shipbuilders sheathe a ship's bottom with copper for extra protection from barnacles and other threats
Recent Examples on the Web Nashville Craft Distillery Bruce Boeko, a Former forensic scientist, is behind this sleek two-year-old distillery, which is sheathed in steel and glass. Shivani Vora, New York Times, "Five Places to Go in Nashville," 1 Mar. 2018 Across the corridor sit hundreds of Buddha miniatures, each sheathed in gilt, resting on black obsidian bases that teeter on two tiers of sandstone. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, "The Hidden City of Myanmar," 21 Nov. 2019 Except for glass portals at the two main entrances, one facing the plaza and one on Terry Francois Boulevard facing the bay, the arena is sheathed in bands of white aluminum with syncopated perforations. John King,, "A bit of a jumble, the Warriors’ Chase Center still scores for the fans," 21 Oct. 2019 Luxury textile company Scalamandré’s red, zebra-print wallpaper sheathed Margot Tenenbaum’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) bedroom and powder room in Wes Anderson’s 2001 film. Mackenzie Schmidt,, "The Iconic Royal Tenenbaums Wallpaper Is Now Available in a Peel-and-Stick Version (for $69!)," 25 Sep. 2019 Its west-facing wall is sheathed in terra cotta panels, a material that bears no relation to anything nearby. John King,, "Park-topped Transbay transit center pays architectural dividends, past troubles aside," 26 Aug. 2019 But even the studio, originally a business building, is sheathed in shingles that contribute to the predominantly domestic character. Blair Kamin,, "Column: Wright or wrong? A planned visitor center next to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio raises thorny issues," 21 June 2019 Big Ben was sheathed in layers of scaffolding and black construction netting. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Boris Johnson’s Brexit Carnage," 6 Sep. 2019 But it has been tamed: its path has been shortened and straightened; its southernmost thousand miles are sheathed in an intricate system of locks and levees, and now ninety percent of its old floodplain stands dry. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "On a Wild Patch of Mississippi Soil," 14 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheathe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sheathe

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sheathe

Middle English shethen, from shethe sheath

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sheathe

Time Traveler for sheathe

Time Traveler

The first known use of sheathe was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sheathe

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sheathe.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sheathe


How to pronounce sheathe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sheathe

literary : to put (something, such as a sword) into a sheath
: to cover (something) with something that protects it


\ ˈshēt͟h How to pronounce sheathe (audio) \
sheathed; sheathing

Kids Definition of sheathe

1 : to put into a sheath Sheathe your sword.
2 : to cover with something that protects The ship's bottom is sheathed with copper.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sheathe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheathe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheathe

Spanish Central: Translation of sheathe

Nglish: Translation of sheathe for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sheathe

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


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!