adjective, sheer·er, sheer·est.
- sheepswool sponge,
- sheer plan,
Origin of sheer1
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of sheer2
Examples from the Web for sheer
Actors can inhabit the person through the sheer force of their assimilation.
Even Godzilla, the ugliest star attraction of them all, is bigger than ever, both at the box office and in sheer monstrous height.Can Tarzan of the Apes Survive in a Post-Colonial World?|Ted Gioia|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Met is noteworthy not only for its house size, however, but for the sheer volume of its season.
The next 10 times after that, the sheer repetition made it funny again, like the famous Simpsons rake joke.Rage Against GamerGate’s Hate Machine: What I Got For Speaking Up|Arthur Chu|November 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
If nothing else, the sheer size of the “religious liberty” movement indicates its seriousness of purpose.RFRA Madness: What’s Next for Anti-Democratic ‘Religious Exemptions’|Jay Michaelson|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This man, who commanded men and had gained his own way by sheer brain and combativeness, fled by stealth from a dreaded enemy.Robert Toombs|Pleasant A. Stovall
The uniform equality, imputed to Socialism, is like so many other imputations, sheer nonsense.Woman and Socialism|August Bebel
But in an instant I came to myself, wrenched back to a clear vision of things by sheer necessity to act.Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley|C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
But there was nothing at which she could clutch save—but it was sheer madness.Under the Witches' Moon|Nathan Gallizier
He will tear your Crocuses—- especially the yellow ones—to tatters out of sheer mischief.Beautiful Bulbous Plants|John Weathers
Word Origin for sheer
verb (foll by off or away ( from ))
Word Origin for sheer
c.1200, "exempt, free from guilt" (e.g. Sheer Thursday, the Thursday of Holy Week); later schiere "thin, sparse" (c.1400), from Old English scir "bright, clear, gleaming; translucent; pure, unmixed," and influenced by Old Norse cognate scær "bright, clean, pure," both from Proto-Germanic *skeran- (cf. Old Saxon skiri, Old Frisian skire, German schier, Gothic skeirs "clean, pure"), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
Sense of "absolute, utter" (sheer nonsense) developed 1580s, probably from the notion of "unmixed;" that of "very steep" (a sheer cliff) is first recorded 1800, probably from notion of "continued without halting." Meaning "diaphanous" is from 1560s. As an adverb from c.1600.
1620s, "deviate from course" (of a ship), of obscure origin, perhaps from Dutch scheren "to move aside, withdraw, depart," originally "to separate" (see shear (v.)). Related: Sheered; shearing. As a noun from 1660s.