Definition of Sheer

1. Verb. Turn sharply; change direction abruptly. "The motorbike veered to the right"

Exact synonyms: Curve, Cut, Slew, Slue, Swerve, Trend, Veer
Generic synonyms: Turn
Specialized synonyms: Peel Off, Yaw
Derivative terms: Curve, Curve, Swerve, Swerve, Swerving, Trend, Veering

2. Adjective. Complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers. "Sheer stupidity"
Exact synonyms: Absolute, Downright, Out-and-out, Rank, Right-down
Similar to: Complete
Derivative terms: Absoluteness

3. Adverb. Straight up or down without a break.
Exact synonyms: Perpendicularly

4. Verb. Cause to sheer. "She sheered her car around the obstacle"

5. Adjective. Not mixed with extraneous elements. "Not an unmixed blessing"
Exact synonyms: Plain, Unmingled, Unmixed
Similar to: Pure
Derivative terms: Plainness

6. Adverb. Directly. "He fell sheer into the water"

7. Adjective. Very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front. "A sheer descent of rock"
Exact synonyms: Bluff, Bold
Similar to: Steep

8. Adjective. So thin as to transmit light. "Vaporous silks"

Definition of Sheer

1. a. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed.

2. adv. Clean; quite; at once.

3. v. t. To shear.

4. v. i. To decline or deviate from the line of the proper course; to turn aside; to swerve; as, a ship sheers from her course; a horse sheers at a bicycle.

5. n. The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side.

Definition of Sheer

1. Adjective. (context: textiles) Very thin or transparent. ¹

2. Adjective. Pure; unmixed; being only what it seems to be. ¹

3. Adjective. Very steep; almost vertical or perpendicular. ¹

4. Adjective. Used to emphasize the amount or degree of something. ¹

5. Adverb. (archaic) clean; quite; at once. ¹

6. Noun. (nautical) The curve of the main deck or gunwale from bow to stern. ¹

7. Noun. (nautical) An abrupt swerve from the course of a ship. ¹

8. Verb. (nautical) To swerve from a course. ¹

9. Verb. (obsolete) To shear. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Sheer

1. of very thin texture [adj SHEERER, SHEEREST] : SHEERLY [adv] / to swerve [v -ED, -ING, -S] - See also: swerve

Medical Definition of Sheer

1. 1. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed. "Sheer ale." "Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain." (Shak) 2. Very thin or transparent; applied to fabrics; as, sheer muslin. 3. Being only what it seems to be; obvious; simple; mere; downright; as, sheer folly; sheer nonsense. "A sheer impossibility." "It is not a sheer advantage to have several strings to one's bow." (M. Arnold) 4. Stright up and down; vertical; prpendicular. "A sheer precipice of a thousand feet." (J. D. Hooker) "It was at least Nine roods of sheer ascent." (Wordsworth) Origin: OE. Shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. Skrr; akin to skirr, AS. Scir, OS. Skiri, MHG. Schir, G. Schier, Dan. Skr, Sw. Skar, Goth. Skeirs clear, and E. Shine. See Shine. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Sheer

sheepshead porgy
sheepskin coat
sheer (current term)

Literary usage of Sheer

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington, Newell Convers Wyeth (1908)
"... Sei/ed the huge rock in his fingers, Tore it from its deep foundation, Poised it in the air a moment, Pitched it sheer into the river, sheer into the ..."

2. Practical Shipbuilding: A Treatise on the Structural Design and Building of by A. Campbell Holms (1918)
"The sheer is measured by the height of the mean ordinate, ... The standard mean sheer, in the case of vessels having a forecastle of standard height, ..."

3. The Iliad of Homer by Homer, John Graham Cordery (1871)
"... sheer The shoulder from the throat and neck and back. 180 These leaving, fast he followed on the steps Of Abas and ..."

4. The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1918)
"Bulkheads are next concreted and the boat finished with a wooden sheer strake and gunwale. In 1917 a concrete lighter was built at Pors- grund, Norway, ..."

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