noun, often attributive
\ˈshēp \
plural sheep

Definition of sheep 

1 : any of various hollow-horned typically gregarious ruminant mammals (genus Ovis) related to the goats but stockier and lacking a beard in the male specifically : one (O. aries) long domesticated especially for its flesh and wool

2a : a timid defenseless creature

b : a timid docile person especially : one easily influenced or led

3 : leather prepared from the skins of sheep : sheepskin

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sheep


angel, dove, innocent, lamb



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Examples of sheep in a Sentence

he came to see that the members of the cult were sheep who naively went along with whatever their leader dictated

Recent Examples on the Web

Whether or not androids dream of electric sheep may remain an open question, but now fans of the Blade Runner franchise will have more opportunity to find out. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Alcon, Titan Partner For New 'Blade Runner' Comics and Books," 12 July 2018 Ask yourself; will a landscaper get more visibility from brochures and cookies, or a patch of grass and a live sheep? Won't a plumber be more prominent by displaying a functioning toilet? Rob Weinberg, Pomerado News, "Must trade shows be boring?," 12 July 2018 For once, Cardiff were the butt of most jokes from football fans everywhere and surprisingly the jokes weren't all sheep orientated., "From Hero to Villain to Hero Again: The Vincent Tan Journey," 8 July 2018 One significant observation was the return of sheep to Rattlesnake Spring, an extremely remote location in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Ernie Cowan,, "Anza Borrego sheep count is for the extreme," 7 July 2018 Memory foam pillows Keep your memory foam pillow in good shape for countless nights of counting sheep. Elana Lyn Gross,, "15 things you should never put in the washing machine," 5 July 2018 Woods expanded into fields full of sheep that bleated in pitches high and low—short like hiccups, long like pleas. Anya Yurchyshyn,, "For This Author, Mother's Day Is An Occasion For Reckoning," 11 May 2018 It's believed the fish got its name because the teeth also resemble those of a sheep, the site says. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "This amazingly creepy fish has human-like teeth and a crushing bite. But what is it? | Charlotte Observer," 9 May 2018 Kashmir has over 1 million nomadic herders, including the Bakarwals, who mainly tend flocks of sheep, goats and horses. Fox News, "8-year-old girl's rape, death in India sparks widespread protests mired in religious politics," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheep.' 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 sheep

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sheep

Middle English, from Old English scēap; akin to Old High German scāf sheep

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Phrases Related to sheep

separate the sheep from the goats

Statistics for sheep

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for sheep

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

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More Definitions for sheep



English Language Learners Definition of sheep

: an animal with a thick woolly coat that is often raised for meat or for its wool and skin

: a person who does what other people say to do


\ˈshēp \
plural sheep

Kids Definition of sheep

1 : an animal related to the goat that is often raised for meat or for its wool and skin

2 : a weak helpless person who is easily led

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Comments on sheep

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