\ 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 Snow shouldn't top 2 inches in those areas, and forecasters predict the weather will leave a thin sheen of ice in parts of the region. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "California and Upper Midwest to see snow and rain, while much of the country enjoys a toasty Christmas," 25 Dec. 2019 Food waste is a contributor, and so is traditional wrapping paper, the kind pocked with glitter or coated with plastic for that festive sheen, and therefore unfit for recycling. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Is Tinsel Canceled?," 18 Dec. 2019 To create the herringbone pattern with a hint of sheen, Kwandaa printed an online image on glossy paper. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This Mom Made a 'Fixer Upper' Dollhouse, and It's a Flippin' Masterpiece," 17 Mar. 2018 Slip-ups and scandals have dulled Mr Trudeau’s sheen. The Economist, "Climate change dominates Canada’s election," 10 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, crews equipped with about 70 boats and oil-absorbent boom are responding to oily debris and sheen along the shoreline and marshes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Crews start removing fuel from overturned ship in Georgia," 27 Sep. 2019 Part of what attracted athletes was the allure and sheen of a new health product (not to mention a buzzy start-up). Chris Ballard,, "Beyond Endorsing: How Veggie Burgers Became the NBA's New Gatorade," 24 Sep. 2019 This sardonic approach is not without risks, and the movie’s polished surface, to my eye, bears a sheen of smugness. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Pastiche and Politics in “Knives Out”," 22 Nov. 2019 Once that sheen faded, however, my patience with the gameplay's fumbles dwindled quickly—a fact that wasn't helped when the visuals in later levels began to suffer from serious copy-and-paste syndrome. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Jedi: Fallen Order game review: More like, the Force goes back to sleep," 14 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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Cite this Entry

“Sheen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 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

Comments on sheen

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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