1

sheer

play
verb \ˈshir\

Definition of sheer

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to deviate from a course :  swerve

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to cause to sheer

Examples of sheer in a sentence

  1. <the cruise ship sheered to the northwest, putting it safely out of the path of the hurricane>

  2. <the car sheered to avoid hitting the dog>

Origin and Etymology of sheer

perhaps alteration of 1shear


First Known Use: 1539


2

sheer

noun

Definition of sheer

  1. 1 :  a turn, deviation, or change in a course (as of a ship)

  2. 2 :  the position of a ship riding to a single anchor and heading toward it

1670

First Known Use of sheer

1670


3

sheer

adjective

Definition of sheer

  1. 1 obsolete :  bright, shining

  2. 2 :  of very thin or transparent texture :  diaphanous

  3. 3a :  unqualified, utter <sheer folly> <sheer ignorance>b :  being free from an adulterant :  pure, unmixedc :  viewed or acting in dissociation from all else <in terms of sheer numbers>

  4. 4 :  marked by great and continuous steepness

sheerly

adverb

sheerness

noun

Examples of sheer in a sentence

  1. a sheer drop to the sea

  2. <we had to get window shades because passersby could see right through our sheer curtains>

Origin and Etymology of sheer

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


First Known Use: circa 1568

Synonym Discussion of sheer

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>.

4

sheer

adverb

Definition of sheer

  1. 1 :  in a complete manner :  altogether

  2. 2 :  straight up or down without a break :  perpendicularly

Examples of sheer in a sentence

  1. mountains rising sheer from the plains

1599

First Known Use of sheer

1599


5

sheer

noun

Definition of sheer

  1. :  a sheer fabric; also :  an article of such a fabric

Circa 1920

First Known Use of sheer

circa 1920


6

sheer

noun

Definition of sheer

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

Origin and Etymology of sheer

perhaps alteration of 2shear


First Known Use: 1691


SHEER Defined for English Language Learners

1

sheer

play
verb \ˈshir\

Definition of sheer for English Language Learners

  • : to turn suddenly


3

sheer

adjective

Definition of sheer for English Language Learners

  • —used to emphasize the large amount, size, or degree of something

  • : complete and total

  • : very steep : almost straight up and down


4

sheer

adverb

Definition of sheer for English Language Learners

  • : straight up or down


SHEER Defined for Kids

sheer

play
adjective \ˈshir\

Definition of sheer for Students

sheerer

sheerest

  1. 1 :  very thin or transparent <sheer curtains>

  2. 2 :  complete and total :  absolute <sheer nonsense>

  3. 3 :  taken or acting apart from everything else <He won through sheer determination.>

  4. 4 :  very steep <a sheer cliff>



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