Listen: US UK UK-RP UK-Yorkshire Irish Scottish US Southern Jamaican /ʃɪə/
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017 sheer 1 /ʃɪr/
USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, adv., n. adj.
so thin as to be transparent: sheer stockings.
unmixed with anything else: sheer luck; sheer nonsense. [before a noun ]
extending down or up very steeply: a sheer descent. adv.
completely; quite: He drove sheer off the road.
vertically; down or up very steeply: cliffs rising sheer from the sea. n.
[ countable ]
Textilesa thin, nearly transparent fabric or garment.
sheer•ness, n. [ uncountable ] sheer 2 /ʃɪr/
USA pronunciation v.
to move away from a course; deviate: The jet fighters sheered to the south. [no object ] The pilot sheered the jet fighter to the south. [~ + object ] n.
[ countable ]
Nautical, Naval Termsan act of moving away from or changing a direction or course. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017 sheer
1 (shēr), USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, adv., n. adj.
transparently thin; diaphanous, as some fabrics: sheer stockings.
unmixed with anything else: We drilled a hundred feet through sheer rock.
unqualified; utter: sheer nonsense.
extending down or up very steeply; almost completely vertical: a sheer descent of rock.
British Termsbright; shining. adv.
clear; completely; quite: ran sheer into the thick of battle.
perpendicularly; vertically; down or up very steeply. n.
Textilesa thin, diaphanous material, as chiffon or voile.
sheer ′ly, adv.
sheer ′ness, n.
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. mere, simple, pure, unadulterated. See corresponding entry in Unabridged 3. absolute, downright. See corresponding entry in Unabridged 4. abrupt, precipitous. See corresponding entry in Unabridged 6. totally, entirely. See corresponding entry in Unabridged
1. opaque. See corresponding entry in Unabridged sheer
2 (shēr), USA pronunciation v.i.
to deviate from a course, as a ship; swerve. v.t.
to cause to sheer.
Nautical, Naval Terms to give sheer to (a hull). [Shipbuilding. ] n.
Nautical, Naval Termsa deviation or divergence, as of a ship from its course; swerve.
Nautical, Naval Terms the fore-and-aft upward curve of the hull of a vessel at the main deck or bulwarks. [Shipbuilding. ] Nautical, Naval Termsthe position in which a ship at anchor is placed to keep it clear of the anchor.
1620–30; special use of sheer 1; compare sense development of clear
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
sheer / ʃɪə/ adj perpendicular; very steep: a sheer cliff (of textiles) so fine as to be transparent ( prenominal) absolute; unmitigated: sheer folly obsolete bright or shining adv steeply or perpendicularly completely or absolutely Etymology: Old English scīr; related to Old Norse skīrr bright, Gothic skeirs clear, Middle High German schīr ˈsheerly adv ˈsheerness n sheer / ʃɪə/ vb followed by off : or away (from ) to deviate or cause to deviate from a course ( intransitive) to avoid an unpleasant person, thing, topic, etc n the position of a vessel relative to its mooring Etymology: 17 th Century: perhaps variant of shear
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