[ sheep ]
See synonyms for: sheepsheeplike on

noun,plural sheep.
  1. any of numerous ruminant mammals of the genus Ovis, of the family Bovidae, closely related to the goats, especially O. aries, bred in a number of domesticated varieties.

  2. leather made from the skin of these animals.

  1. a meek, unimaginative, or easily led person.

Idioms about sheep

  1. separate the sheep from the goats, to separate good people from bad or those intended for a specific end from unqualified people.

Origin of sheep

before 900; Middle English; Old English (north) scēp; cognate with Dutch schaap,German Schaf

Other words from sheep

  • sheepless, adjective
  • sheeplike, adjective

Words Nearby sheep Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sheep in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sheep (1 of 2)


/ (ʃiːp) /

nounplural sheep
  1. any of various bovid mammals of the genus Ovis and related genera, esp O. aries (domestic sheep), having transversely ribbed horns and a narrow face. There are many breeds of domestic sheep, raised for their wool and for meat: Related adjective: ovine

  2. Barbary sheep another name for aoudad

  1. a meek or timid person, esp one without initiative

  2. separate the sheep from the goats to pick out the members of any group who are superior in some respects

Origin of sheep

Old English sceap; related to Old Frisian skēp, Old Saxon scāp, Old High German scāf

Derived forms of sheep

  • sheeplike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for SHEEP (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. Sky High Earnings Expectations Possibly: applied to investments that appear to offer high returns but may be unreliable

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with sheep


see black sheep; hanged for a sheep; separate the sheep from the goats; wolf in sheep's clothing.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.