sheer

adjective

Definition of sheer

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a : unqualified, utter sheer folly sheer ignorance
b : being free from an adulterant : pure, unmixed
c : viewed or acting in dissociation from all else in terms of sheer numbers
2 : marked by great and continuous steepness
3 : of very thin or transparent texture : diaphanous
4 obsolete : bright, shining

sheer

noun (1)

Definition of sheer (Entry 2 of 6)

: a sheer fabric also : an article of such a fabric

sheer

adverb

Definition of sheer (Entry 3 of 6)

1 : straight up or down without a break : perpendicularly
2 : in a complete manner : altogether

sheer

verb
\ ˈshir How to pronounce sheer (audio) \
sheered; sheering; sheers

Definition of sheer (Entry 4 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to deviate from a course : swerve

transitive verb

: to cause to sheer

sheer

noun (2)

Definition of sheer (Entry 5 of 6)

1 : a turn, deviation, or change in a course (as of a ship)
2 : the position of a ship riding to a single anchor and heading toward it

sheer

noun (3)

Definition of sheer (Entry 6 of 6)

: the fore-and-aft curvature from bow to stern of a ship's deck as shown in side elevation

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Other Words from sheer

Adjective

sheerly adverb
sheerness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sheer

Adjective

steep, abrupt, precipitous, sheer mean having an incline approaching the perpendicular. steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult. a steep hill a steep dive abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level. a beach with an abrupt drop-off precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical. the river winds through a precipitous gorge sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse. sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers

Examples of sheer in a Sentence

Adjective a sheer drop to the sea we had to get window shades because passersby could see right through our sheer curtains Adverb mountains rising sheer from the plains Verb the cruise ship sheered to the northwest, putting it safely out of the path of the hurricane the car sheered to avoid hitting the dog
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First Known Use of sheer

Adjective

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun (1)

circa 1920, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1539, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1691, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sheer

Adjective

Middle English schere freed from guilt, probably alteration of skere, from Old Norse skærr pure; akin to Old English scīnan to shine

Verb

perhaps alteration of shear entry 1

Noun (3)

perhaps alteration of shear entry 2

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Statistics for sheer

Time Traveler for sheer

The first known use of sheer was in 1539

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More Definitions for sheer

sheer

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sheer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to emphasize the large amount, size, or degree of something
: complete and total
: very steep : almost straight up and down

sheer

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of sheer (Entry 2 of 3)

: straight up or down

sheer

verb
How to pronounce sheer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sheer (Entry 3 of 3)

: to turn suddenly

sheer

adjective
\ ˈshir How to pronounce sheer (audio) \
sheerer; sheerest

Kids Definition of sheer

1 : very thin or transparent sheer curtains
2 : complete and total : absolute sheer nonsense
3 : taken or acting apart from everything else He won through sheer determination.
4 : very steep a sheer cliff

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheer

Spanish Central: Translation of sheer

Nglish: Translation of sheer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sheer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sheer

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