1 [sheet]
a large rectangular piece of cotton, linen, or other material used as an article of bedding, commonly spread in pairs so that one is immediately above and the other immediately below the sleeper.
a broad, relatively thin, surface, layer, or covering.
a relatively thin, usually rectangular form, piece, plate, or slab, as of photographic film, glass, metal, etc.
material, as metal or glass, in the form of broad, relatively thin pieces.
a sail, as on a ship or boat.
a rectangular piece of paper or parchment, especially one on which to write.
a newspaper or periodical.
Printing and Bookbinding. a large, rectangular piece of printing paper, especially one for printing a complete signature.
Philately. the impression from a plate or the like on a single sheet of paper before any division of the paper into individual stamps.
an extent, stretch, or expanse, as of fire or water: sheets of flame.
a thin, flat piece of metal or a very shallow pan on which to place food while baking.
Geology. a more or less horizontal mass of rock, especially volcanic rock intruded between strata or poured out over a surface.
one of the separate pieces making up a geometrical surface: a hyperboloid of two sheets.
one of the planes or pieces of planes making up a Riemann surface.
Crystallography. a type of crystal structure, as in mica, in which certain atoms unite strongly in two dimensions to form a layer that is weakly joined to others.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with a sheet or sheets.
to wrap in a sheet.
to cover with a sheet or layer of something.

before 900; Middle English shete, Old English scēte (north), scīete, derivative of scēat corner, lap, sheet, region; cognate with Dutch schoot, German Schoss, Old Norse skaut

sheetless, adjective
sheetlike, adjective Unabridged


2 [sheet]
a rope or chain for extending the clews of a square sail along a yard.
a rope for trimming a fore-and-aft sail.
a rope or chain for extending the lee clew of a course.
verb (used with object)
Nautical. to trim, extend, or secure by means of a sheet or sheets.
three sheets in/to the wind, Slang. intoxicated.

1300–50; Middle English shete, shortening of Old English scēatlīne, equivalent to scēat(a) lower corner of a sail (see sheet1) + līne line1, rope; cognate with Low German schote Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sheet1 (ʃiːt)
1.  a large rectangular piece of cotton, linen, etc, generally one of a pair used as inner bedclothes
2.  a.  a thin piece of a substance such as paper, glass, or metal, usually rectangular in form
 b.  (as modifier): sheet iron
3.  a broad continuous surface; expanse or stretch: a sheet of rain
4.  a newspaper, esp a tabloid
5.  a piece of printed paper to be folded into a section for a book
6.  a page of stamps, usually of one denomination and already perforated
7.  any thin tabular mass of rock covering a large area
8.  (tr) to provide with, cover, or wrap in a sheet
9.  (intr) (of rain, snow, etc) to fall heavily
[Old English sciete; related to sceat corner, lap, Old Norse skaut, Old High German scōz lap]

sheet2 (ʃiːt)
nautical a line or rope for controlling the position of a sail relative to the wind
[Old English scēata corner of a sail; related to Middle Low German schōte rope attached to a sail; see sheet1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sciete (W.Saxon), scete (Mercian) "cloth, covering," from P.Gmc. *skautijon, from base *skauta- "project" (cf. O.N. skaut "corner of cloth," Goth. skauts "seam, hem of a garment;" Du. schoot Ger. Schoß "bosom, lap"), from PIE base *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see
shoot). Sense of "piece of paper" first recorded 1510; that of "any broad, flat surface" (of metal, open water, etc.) is from 1592. Of falling rain from 1697. Meaning "a newspaper" is first recorded 1749. Sheet lightning is attested from 1794; sheet music is from 1857. Between the sheets "in bed" (usually with sexual overtones) is attested from 1599; to be white as a sheet is from 1751.

"rope that controls a sail," O.E. sceatline "sheet-line," from sceata "lower part of sail," originally "piece of cloth," from same root as sheet (1) (q.v.). The sense transferred to the rope by 1294. This is probably the notion in phrase three sheets to the wind "drunk and
disorganized," first recorded 1821, an image of a sloop-rigged sailboat whose three sheets have slipped through the blocks are lost to the wind, thus out of control.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see three sheets to the wind; white as a sheet.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But the scandal increased fado's appeal, leading to the publication of its
  first sheet music.
Most of these works adhere to one deceptively simple requirement-the use of a
  single sheet of paper with no cuts or tears.
For now, it sits in storage, its burnished white-and-gold console protected by
  a sheet of plastic.
Place on baking sheet with plenty of space between each dough ball.
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