- a port and resort in SE England, in N Kent at the junction of the Medway estuary and the Thames: administratively part of Queenborough in Sheppey since 1968
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
- Place Namesa seaport in N Kent, in SE England on the Isle of Sheppey, at the mouth of the Thames: government dockyards. 31,541.
- so thin as to be transparent:sheer stockings.
- unmixed with anything else:[before a noun]sheer luck; sheer nonsense.
- extending down or up very steeply:a sheer descent.
quite:He drove sheer off the road.
down or up very steeply:cliffs rising sheer from the sea.
- Textilesa thin, nearly transparent fabric or garment.
sheer2 /ʃɪr/USA pronunciation v.
- to move away from a course;
deviate: [no object]The jet fighters sheered to the south.[~ + object]The pilot sheered the jet fighter to the south.
- Nautical, Naval Termsan act of moving away from or changing a direction or course.
- transparently thin;
diaphanous, as some fabrics:sheer stockings.
- unmixed with anything else:We drilled a hundred feet through sheer rock.
- extending down or up very steeply;
almost completely vertical:a sheer descent of rock.
- British Termsbright;
quite:ran sheer into the thick of battle.
down or up very steeply.
- Textilesa thin, diaphanous material, as chiffon or voile.
- Old Norse skǣrr; change of sk-
s(c)h- perh. by influence of the related Old English scīr (English dialect, dialectal shire clear, pure, thin); cognate with German schier, Old Norse skīr, Gothic skeirs clear; see shine
- 1175–1225; Middle English scere, shere, schere free, clear, bright, thin; probably
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged mere, simple, pure, unadulterated.
- 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged absolute, downright.
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged abrupt, precipitous.
- 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged totally, entirely.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged opaque.
sheer2 (shēr),USA pronunciation v.i.
- to deviate from a course, as a ship;
- to cause to sheer.
- Nautical, Naval Terms[Shipbuilding.]to give sheer to (a hull).
- Nautical, Naval Termsa deviation or divergence, as of a ship from its course;
- Nautical, Naval Terms[Shipbuilding.]the fore-and-aft upward curve of the hull of a vessel at the main deck or bulwarks.
- Nautical, Naval Termsthe position in which a ship at anchor is placed to keep it clear of the anchor.
- 1620–30; special use of sheer1; compare sense development of clear