[ sheef ]
/ ʃif /

noun, plural sheaves.

one of the bundles in which cereal plants, as wheat, rye, etc., are bound after reaping.
any bundle, cluster, or collection: a sheaf of papers.

verb (used with object)

to bind (something) into a sheaf or sheaves.

Nearby words

  1. shea,
  2. shea butter,
  3. shea nut,
  4. shea tree,
  5. sheading,
  6. shealing,
  7. shear,
  8. shear force,
  9. shear legs,
  10. shear modulus

Origin of sheaf

before 900; Middle English shefe (noun), Old English schēaf; cognate with Dutch schoof sheaf, German Schaub wisp of straw, Old Norse skauf tail of a fox

Related formssheaf·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheaf

British Dictionary definitions for sheaf


/ (ʃiːf) /

noun plural sheaves (ʃiːvz)

a bundle of reaped but unthreshed corn tied with one or two bonds
a bundle of objects tied together
the arrows contained in a quiver


(tr) to bind or tie into a sheaf

Word Origin for sheaf

Old English sceaf, related to Old High German skoub sheaf, Old Norse skauf tail, Gothic skuft tuft of hair

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sheaf



Old English sceaf (plural sceafas) "large bundle of corn," from Proto-Germanic *skauf- (cf. Old Saxon scof, Middle Dutch scoof, Dutch schoof, Old High German scoub "sheaf, bundle," German Schaub "sheaf;" Old Norse skauf "fox's tail;" Gothic skuft "hair on the head," German Schopf "tuft"), from PIE root *(s)keup- "cluster, tuft, hair of the head." Extended to bundles of things other than grain by c.1300. Also used in Middle English for "two dozen arrows." General sense of "a collection" is from 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper