- Sheer is defined as a very thin, or extremely steep.
- An example of sheer is the veil covering the face of a bride on her wedding day.
- An example of sheer is the front of a cliff that goes straight up and down.
- The definition of sheer is a quick and sudden turn.
An example of a sheer is a bicycle rider making an unexpected turn.
- The definition of sheer is to make a sudden and sharp turn.
An example of sheer is turning your car sharply in order to keep from hitting a deer in the road.
Origin of sheervariant, variety of shear, probably influenced, influence by Dutch or Low German scheren, to cut, deviate, warp away
- a sudden change of course; abrupt turn; swerve
- the oblique heading or position of a ship riding at a single bow anchor
- the upward curve of a ship's deck toward the bow and stern, as seen from the side
- very thin; transparent; diaphanous: said of textiles
- not mixed or mingled with anything else; pure: sheer ice
- absolute; downright; unqualified; utter: sheer persistence
- perpendicular or extremely steep, as the face of a cliff
Origin of sheerMiddle English schere, probably variant, variety of scere, free, exempt ; from Old Norse skærr, bright, clear, akin to German schier: for Indo-European base see shine
- completely; utterly; outright
- perpendicularly or very steeply
intr. & tr.v.sheered, sheer·ing, sheers
- A swerving or deviating course.
- a. The upward curve or amount of upward curve of the longitudinal lines of a ship's hull as viewed from the side.b. The position in which a ship at anchor is maintained in order to keep it clear of the anchor.
Origin of sheerProbably partly from Low German scheren, to move to and fro (said of boats), and partly from Dutch scheren, to withdraw; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
- Thin, fine, and translucent: sheer curtains; sheer chiffon. See Synonyms at airy.
- a. Completely such, without qualification or exception: sheer stupidity; sheer happiness.b. Free from admixture or adulterants; unmixed: sheer alcohol.c. Considered or operating apart from anything else: got the job through sheer persistence.
- Almost perpendicular; steep: sheer rock cliffs. See Synonyms at steep1.
- Almost perpendicularly.
- Completely; altogether.
Origin of sheerObsolete shere, thin, clear, partly from Middle English shir, bright, clear (from Old English scīr) and partly from Middle English skir, bright, clean (from Old Norse skærr).
(comparative sheerer or more sheer, superlative sheerest or most sheer)
- (textiles) Very thin or transparent.
- Her light, sheer dress caught everyone’s attention.
- Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain.
- Being only what it seems to be; mere.
- I think it is sheer genius to invent such a thing.
- This poem is sheer nonsense.
- Very steep; almost vertical or perpendicular.
- It was a sheer drop of 180 feet.
- Used to emphasize the amount or degree of something.
- Through technological wizardry and sheer audacity, Google has shown how we can transform the intellectual riches of our libraries […] .
From Middle English shere, scheere, schere, skere, from Old English *scǣre; merged with Middle English shire, schire, schyre, shir, from Old English scīr (“clear, bright; brilliant, gleaming, shining, splendid, resplendent; pure”) and Old Norse skírr (“pure, bright, clear”) , both from Proto-Germanic *skīriz (“pure, sheer”) and *skairiz, from Proto-Indo-European *sḱēy- (“luster, gloss, shadow”). Cognate with Danish skær, German schier (“sheer”), Dutch schier (“almost”), Gothic (skeirs, “clear, lucid”). Outside Germanic, cognate to Albanian hirrë (“whey, serum”).
(third-person singular simple present sheers, present participle sheering, simple past and past participle sheered)
- (chiefly nautical) To swerve from a course.
- A horse sheers at a bicycle.