\ 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 With just a hint of a dewy (nongreasy) sheen to it, my newfound radiance has caught the attention of all my friends: Just about everyone is asking me about my skin-care routine. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "I Get Asked to ‘Drop the Skin-Care Routine’ Whenever I Wear This Foundation," 30 Jan. 2020 There's a hint of Red 27 in the Watermelon Glow Lip Pop formula so that light-pink sheen looks just a little bit different from person to person. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Glow Recipe Just Revealed Its First-Ever Lip Product, and We've Got the Exclusive Details," 24 Jan. 2020 New Hampshire Dover: The City Hall clock tower, which officials say has lost its sheen and is sorely in need of a significant cosmetic overhaul, will be getting a full facelift ahead of the city’s 400th birthday celebration in 2023. USA TODAY, "Butter Gritty, radish stink, goatnapping: News from around our 50 states," 3 Jan. 2020 But dip even the most blood-befouled corset in a tub of warm water and swish, swish, swish — Lucy’s lace nightgown, or a doctor’s lab coat — is restored to its original snowy sheen. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "How does Baltimore’s ’Dracula’ get so gruesome? Meet the people behind the stage show’s blood and gore," 24 Oct. 2019 But the vote Monday humbled Trudeau — and significantly diminished not only his sheen but also his power. David Shribman, Los Angeles Times, "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loses his sheen — and his majority," 22 Oct. 2019 Arguably at the peak of his main-stage powers, Kaskade rolled out his biggest anthems and remixes, setting the high-sheen tone for his next album, Automatic. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The Top 100 Moments of the EDM Decade," 17 Dec. 2019 And there’s much to cheer about, for the group showed up at the Pantages with its professionalism polished to a sheen and its music meticulously rehearsed. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: The Blenders keep their Christmas songs slick and well-sung," 13 Dec. 2019 Floors once strewn with needles are regularly mopped and buffed to a sheen. Rachel Swan,, "BART installs gates, adds attendants to make elevators safer, more secure," 6 Nov. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sheen

Cite this Entry

“Sheen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 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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