\ ˈshēn How to pronounce sheen (audio) \

Definition of sheen

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic : beautiful
2 archaic : shining, resplendent


sheened; sheening; sheens

Definition of sheen (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to be bright : show a sheen



Definition of sheen (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : a bright or shining condition : brightness
b : a subdued glitter approaching but short of optical reflection
c : a lustrous surface imparted to textiles through finishing processes or use of shiny yarns
2 : a textile exhibiting notable sheen

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Other Words from sheen


sheeny \ ˈshē-​nē How to pronounce sheeny (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for sheen

Synonyms: Noun

burnish, gloss, luminance, luster (or lustre), polish, shine

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Examples of sheen in a Sentence


Her hair has a sheen to it. polished the metal until it had an even sheen

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The lower the sheen, typically means the lower the cost per gallon. Madeleine Bokan, House Beautiful, "The Best Paint Finish For Every Room," 2 July 2019 But something happened on the way to the primaries: As more candidates entered the race, challenging O’Rourke’s status as media darling, the 46-year-old’s sheen began to fade. Lorraine Ali,, "Why reality TV has nothing on the Democratic debates," 21 June 2019 The sheen and the thickness of the river… it was totally jammed with downfall from upstream. Laura Johnston,, "Cuyahoga River transforms from open sewer to paddlers’ paradise: Cuyahoga50 by the numbers," 16 June 2019 Still, the businesses that best pull off this multi-faceted feat are the ones who keep focused on why their good works help the business—and not merely from the positive sheen of giving away money. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Microsoft's Unpredictable Rise as a Civic Leader—Data Sheet," 11 June 2019 Beyond a certain point, this approach acquires a metaphysical sheen: The water in your body once flowed down the Nile, fell as monsoon rain onto India, and swirled around the Pacific. Nathaniel Rich, Harper's magazine, "Ruina Mundi," 10 May 2019 The original formula in the shade Glazed is a fluid champagne sheen, no flecks of glitter or sparkle. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "I Did A Full Face Of Makeup Using Jelly Highlighters and Eye Shadows — And It Looks Amazing," 19 Sep. 2018 The aim of Argonne's April test was to use the Oleo Sponge to remove oil sheen, a coating of oil on water that is generally only one micron thick. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "New sponge for cleaning harbor oil leaks has a successful real-world test," 16 Aug. 2018 The glossy sheen over eyes, the slightly pockmarked material of human skin, and the stylized, slightly rounded reshaping of expressive facial animations: these all put FFVIIR's characters on the right side of the uncanny valley. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Final Fantasy VII Remake hands-on: Already feels like the one for jaded JRPG fans," 15 June 2019

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


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sheen


Middle English shene, from Old English scīene; akin to Old English scēawian to look — more at show

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Time Traveler for sheen

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

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More Definitions for sheen



English Language Learners Definition of sheen

: a soft, smooth, shiny quality


\ ˈshēn How to pronounce sheen (audio) \

Kids Definition of sheen

: a bright or shining condition : luster

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheen

Spanish Central: Translation of sheen

Nglish: Translation of sheen for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sheen

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characterized by aphorism

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