sheer

1
[ sheer ]
/ ʃɪər /

adjective, sheer·er, sheer·est.

adverb

clear; completely; quite: ran sheer into the thick of battle.
perpendicularly; vertically; down or up very steeply.

noun

a thin, diaphanous material, as chiffon or voile.

Nearby words

  1. sheepshearing,
  2. sheepskin,
  3. sheepswool sponge,
  4. sheeptick,
  5. sheepwalk,
  6. sheer plan,
  7. sheerlegs,
  8. sheerly,
  9. sheerness,
  10. sheers

Origin of sheer

1
1175–1225; Middle English scere, shere, schere free, clear, bright, thin; probably < Old Norse skǣrr; change of sk- > s(c)h- perhaps by influence of the related Old English scīr (E dial. shire clear, pure, thin); cognate with German schier, Old Norse skīr, Gothic skeirs clear; see shine1

Related formssheer·ly, adverbsheer·ness, noun

Can be confusedshear sheer

sheer

2
[ sheer ]
/ ʃɪər /

verb (used without object)

to deviate from a course, as a ship; swerve.

verb (used with object)

to cause to sheer.
Shipbuilding. to give sheer to (a hull).

noun

a deviation or divergence, as of a ship from its course; swerve.
Shipbuilding. the fore-and-aft upward curve of the hull of a vessel at the main deck or bulwarks.
Nautical. the position in which a ship at anchor is placed to keep it clear of the anchor.

Origin of sheer

2
1620–30; special use of sheer1; compare sense development of clear

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheer


British Dictionary definitions for sheer

sheer

1
/ (ʃɪə) /

adjective

adverb

steeply or perpendicularly
completely or absolutely

noun

any transparent fabric used for making garments
Derived Formssheerly, adverbsheerness, noun

Word Origin for sheer

Old English scīr; related to Old Norse skīrr bright, Gothic skeirs clear, Middle High German schīr

verb (foll by off or away ( from ))

to deviate or cause to deviate from a course
(intr) to avoid an unpleasant person, thing, topic, etc

noun

the upward sweep of the deck or bulwarks of a vessel
nautical the position of a vessel relative to its mooring

Word Origin for sheer

C17: perhaps variant of shear

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 sheer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper