\ˈshēn \

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 \ 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

Colour Riche Shine Lipstick in Shining Peach finished her lips with a gentle sheen. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Lady Gaga Wore Less Than $50 Worth of Makeup on Her 'Vogue' Cover," 10 Sep. 2018 Cooking Instructions Moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil and wipe a sheen onto a pan over medium-high heat. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Simple, Easy Pancakes," 1 Sep. 2018 While Real Simple reports that particular shade is discontinued, seven other shades are still available, ranging from soft blacks and browns to a vibrant blue and a dark violet with a pearly red sheen. Emily Wang, Allure, "Mandy Moore Praised This M.A.C. Gel Eyeliner as Her Favorite on Instagram," 8 June 2018 Pence dismissed the suggestion that Trump’s approach may have put a partisan sheen on Space Force. Robert Costa, The Seattle Times, "Pence leaves open the possibility of nuclear weapons in space," 23 Oct. 2018 The Commuter didn’t land higher on this list because of its almost athletic training pant vibe and because the fully polyester exterior had a weird sheen. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "Testing Men's Crossover Office-to-Outdoors Pants," 2 July 2018 While Nas’ debut was deemed an instant classic in hip-hop circles, his sophomore project showed aspirations for radio play, with The Trackmasters giving the album a commercial sheen. Billboard, "Every Nas Album Ranked: Critic's Picks," 15 June 2018 Neglect has taken the Mediterranean sheen off once-bright red and yellow buildings. Anto Antony,, "Billionaire’s Folly Becomes Bankers’ Nightmare," 18 June 2018 My Patients and Other Animals is at its best when the author is at her nerviest, removing the romantic sheen from her profession and replacing it with a more realistic and complicated portrait. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, "For this vet, sometimes the owners are the most difficult patients: New book," 17 Apr. 2018

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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English Language Learners Definition of sheen

: a soft, smooth, shiny quality


\ˈshēn \

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

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