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sheer

1
[ sheer ]
/ ʃɪər /
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See synonyms for: sheer / sheered / sheering / sheers on Thesaurus.com

adjective, sheer·er, sheer·est.
adverb
clear; completely; clean: 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

Other definitions 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. 2021

How to use sheer in a sentence

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
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