[shee-th ing]


the act of a person who sheathes.
something that sheathes; a covering or outer layer of metal, wood, or other material, as one of metal plates on a ship's bottom, the first covering of boards on a house, etc.
material for forming any such covering.


Nearby words

  1. shearlegs,
  2. shearling,
  3. shears,
  4. shearwater,
  5. sheatfish,
  6. sheath knife,
  7. sheath of eyeball,
  8. sheath of schwann,
  9. sheathbill,
  10. sheathe

Origin of sheathing

First recorded in 1490–1500; sheathe + -ing1

Related formsun·der·sheath·ing, noun



noun, plural sheaths [sheeth z] /ʃiðz/.

a case or covering for the blade of a sword, dagger, or the like.
any similar close-fitting covering or case.
a condom.
Biology. a closely enveloping part or structure, as in an animal or plant.
Botany. the leaf base when it forms a vertical coating surrounding the stem.
a close-fitting dress, skirt, or coat, especially an unbelted dress with a straight drape.
Electricity. the metal covering of a cable.
  1. the metal wall of a wave guide.
  2. a space charge formed by ions near an electrode in a tube containing low-pressure gas.
  3. the region of a space charge in a cathode-ray tube.

verb (used with object)

Origin of sheath

before 950; Middle English s(c)heth(e), Old English scēath; cognate with German Scheide; see shed2

Related formssheath·less, adjectivesheath·like, sheath·y, adjective

Can be confusedsheath sheathe



verb (used with object), sheathed, sheath·ing.

to put (a sword, dagger, etc.) into a sheath.
to plunge (a sword, dagger, etc.) in something as if in a sheath.
to enclose in or as if in a casing or covering.
to cover or provide with a protective layer or sheathing: to sheathe a roof with copper.
to cover (a cable, electrical connector, etc.) with a metal sheath for grounding.

Origin of sheathe

1350–1400; Middle English shethen, derivative of sheath

Related formssheath·er, noun

Can be confusedsheath sheathe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheathing

British Dictionary definitions for sheathing



any material used as an outer layer, as on a ship's hull
boarding, etc, used to cover the wall studding or roof joists of a timber frame


noun plural sheaths (ʃiːðz)

a case or covering for the blade of a knife, sword, etc
any similar close-fitting case
biology an enclosing or protective structure, such as a leaf base encasing the stem of a plant
the protective covering on an electric cable
a figure-hugging dress with a narrow tapering skirt
another name for condom


(tr) another word for sheathe

Word Origin for sheath

Old English scēath; related to Old Norse skeithir, Old High German sceida a dividing; compare Old English scādan to divide


verb (tr)

to insert (a knife, sword, etc) into a sheath
(esp of cats) to retract (the claws)
to surface with or encase in a sheath or sheathing
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 sheathing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sheathing



n. pl. sheaths (shēðz, shēths)

An enveloping tubular structure, such as the tissue that encloses a muscle or nerve fiber.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for sheathing



An enveloping tubular structure, such as the base of a grass leaf that surrounds the stem or the tissue that encloses a muscle or nerve fiber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.