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.

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Origin of sheer

1
First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English scere, shere, schere “free, clear, bright, thin”; probably from Old Norse skǣrr; change of sk- from s(c)h- perhaps by influence of the related Old English scīr (English dialect shire “clear, pure, thin”); cognate with German schier, Old Norse skīr, Gothic skeirs “clear”

OTHER WORDS FROM sheer

sheerly, adverbsheerness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH sheer

shear, sheer .

Definition for sheer (2 of 2)

sheer2
[ 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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sheer

British Dictionary definitions for sheer (1 of 2)

sheer1
/ (ʃɪə) /

adjective

adverb

steeply or perpendicularly
completely or absolutely

noun

any transparent fabric used for making garments

Derived forms of sheer

sheerly, adverbsheerness, noun

Word Origin for sheer

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

British Dictionary definitions for sheer (2 of 2)

sheer2
/ (ʃɪə) /

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