\ 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

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Examples of sheen in a Sentence

Noun Her hair has a sheen to it. polished the metal until it had an even sheen
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many countries are putting an environmental sheen on their recovery packages—something of a no-brainer, given that stimulus measures without this element would leave little money for rescuing the climate later on. David Meyer, Fortune, "Net-zero by 2050: Diageo, H&M and Rolls-Royce join drive to avert climate catastrophe," 5 June 2020 The album's a blast, with the band scaling back on the extended jams, and polishing up their pop rock hooks to a glistening sheen. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 Milwaukee albums and songs you have to hear in June, from Grace Weber, Space Raft, Klassik and more," 2 June 2020 Study the dimpled chocolate, observe the pleasing chestnut sheen. Emma Cline, The New Yorker, "White Noise," 1 June 2020 If your hair’s looking or feeling a little lackluster, coconut oil can help bring back its healthy, glistening sheen. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "9 Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Softer, Smoother Hair," 22 Apr. 2020 For this specific project, a satin sheen is best for showing the dimensions and texture of the frames against the wall. Madeleine Bokan, House Beautiful, "The Painted Picture Frame Wall Is The New Gallery Wall," 1 July 2019 The sound and sheen of it, there isn’t a bad track and every song has had its own life. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Glassnote's Daniel Glass On Phoenix's '1901' Hitting No. 1: 'There Were Tears of Joy'," 1 Apr. 2019 But that lack of influencer sheen means their feeds are full of remarkably average hangouts with friends and blurry pictures of dogs. Lia Beck,, "Nearly Everyone On Listen To Your Heart Broke This Unspoken Bachelor Nation Rule," 20 Apr. 2020 Though these pieces, with their sinuous curves, metallic finishes and seamless blend of sheen and distress, appear futuristic, De Cotiis is, in fact, inspired largely by Italy’s design past. Kurt Soller, New York Times, "The Extravagance of Less," 19 Mar. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Sheen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheen

Spanish Central: Translation of sheen

Nglish: Translation of sheen for Spanish Speakers

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