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See more synonyms for sheave on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), sheaved, sheav·ing.
  1. to gather, collect, or bind into a sheaf or sheaves.
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Origin of sheave1

First recorded in 1570–80; derivative of sheaf


[shiv, sheev]
  1. a pulley for hoisting or hauling, having a grooved rim for retaining a wire rope.
  2. a wheel with a grooved rim, for transmitting force to a cable or belt.
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Origin of sheave2

1300–50; Middle English schive; akin to Dutch schijf sheave, German Scheibe disk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheave

Historical Examples

  • After the rope leaves the said sheave, it is coiled away at pleasure.

    A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines

    Andrew Ure

  • The sheave at the stern was fixed on the end of the screw shaft.

  • The two parts of the sheave are connected by two cotter bolts.

  • The traction rope is carried over the sheave at the top, then let fall and passed round a sheave in a block below.

  • Let the rope be put in round the sheave of this block, and brought back to the block that is fastened at the top of the machine.

British Dictionary definitions for sheave


  1. (tr) to gather or bind into sheaves
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  1. a wheel with a grooved rim, esp one used as a pulley
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Word Origin

C14: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German scība disc
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 sheave


"to gather up in sheaves," 1570s; see sheaf. Related: Sheaved; sheaving. Earlier verb in this sense was simply sheaf (c.1500).

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"grooved wheel to receive a cord, pulley" (mid-14c.), also "slice of bread" (late 14c.), related to shive (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper