\ 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 sheen (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: Verb But old pennies have a nice copper sheen all the way through. Vincent T. Davis,, "San Antonio marketing manager collects pressed pennies from around the world," 18 Jan. 2021 This diner digs their seasoning: bacon, thyme, red vinegar and a finishing touch of butter to give the beans sheen. Washington Post, "These 3 restaurants make you feel like a neighbor, and we all need a dose of that," 14 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Miuccia Prada headbanded every single model in an array of puffed, high-sheen satins (like the one worn by Gorman), as well as thinner versions embellished with crystals and bows. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "24 Joyful Headbands Inspired by Amanda Gorman’s Prada Accessory," 21 Jan. 2021 Many homeowners choose a low-sheen or matte finish when painting uneven surfaces such as concrete or stucco. Michael Pollick,, "The best exterior house paint," 19 Dec. 2020 What should have been a celebration for three years of work and preparation was lost under the sheen of ice and snow that paralyzed the area. David Moore, Dallas News, "10 years after hosting Super Bowl XLV during a winter storm, North Texas is still waiting for its do-over," 4 Feb. 2021 The glossy sheen and the rich shades of sapphire, burgundy, and rust felt youthful and fun. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Kate and Lila Grace Moss Are the First to Wear Dior’s Artsy New Collaboration," 22 Jan. 2021 Polluted water continued to spew for five days until the platform's operators initiated an emergency shutdown to stop the sheen. Halle Parker,, "2 contractors of oil company indicted for leaks from platforms off Louisiana coast," 19 Jan. 2021 Satires of Hollywood, especially those set in L.A., are often either cruel or sour, zeroing in on the industry’s rampant vice and avarice, its plastic sheen. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "The Very Serious Appeal of Call My Agent," 25 Jan. 2021 And cast in the supporting roles were, first and foremost, Ivanka and Jared, the effective prom king and queen, skin and hair and teeth polished to an impenetrable sheen. New York Times, "A Farewell to the Trump Aesthetic," 16 Jan. 2021 Depending on the light, the magical sheen of Askaripour’s prose can make those bits of homespun advice look wholly sincere or wickedly parodic. Washington Post, "Mateo Askaripour’s ‘Black Buck’ is an irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America," 4 Jan. 2021

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 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on sheen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheen

Nglish: Translation of sheen for Spanish Speakers

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