[ sheep ]
/ ʃip /

noun, plural sheep.

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.
leather made from the skin of these animals.
a meek, unimaginative, or easily led person.



Let the aeolian gusts transport you back to these popular Words of the Day from the month of May. How many do you remember?
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to travel or journey, especially to walk on foot”?

Idioms for sheep

    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


sheep·less, adjectivesheep·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sheeplike

  • He had a dull eye, a long, sheeplike nose and a wagging under lip; and Natalie vowed he was half-witted.

    Two on the Trail|Hulbert Footner
  • Most of my generation will be sheeplike, moving as part of the herd, because of their conditioning.

    This Crowded Earth|Robert Bloch
  • They had learned the enormous advantage their stronger personality gave them against the masses of sheeplike Asiatics.

  • The youth refused to kill himself with the sheeplike docility of so many of his contemporaries.

    Darkness and Dawn|Frederic W. Farrar

British Dictionary definitions for sheeplike (1 of 2)


abbreviation for

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

British Dictionary definitions for sheeplike (2 of 2)

/ (ʃiːp) /

noun plural sheep

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 meatRelated adjective: ovine
Barbary sheep another name for aoudad
a meek or timid person, esp one without initiative
separate the sheep from the goats to pick out the members of any group who are superior in some respects

Derived forms of sheep

sheeplike, adjective

Word Origin for sheep

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

Idioms and Phrases with sheeplike


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.