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[sheef] /ʃif/
noun, plural sheaves.
one of the bundles in which cereal plants, as wheat, rye, etc., are bound after reaping.
any bundle, cluster, or collection:
a sheaf of papers.
verb (used with object)
to bind (something) into a sheaf or sheaves.
before 900; Middle English shefe (noun), Old English schēaf; cognate with Dutch schoof sheaf, German Schaub wisp of straw, Old Norse skauf tail of a fox
Related forms
sheaflike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for sheaf
  • There is a sheaf of scholarship on gender difference in conversational styles.
  • His customers are satisfied, judging by the sheaf of testimonials on his desk.
  • He took me to his home, where he opened a drawer and pulled out a sheaf of rice paper that had been stapled together.
  • She was wearing a down parka and gripping a sheaf of papers.
  • The school wrote a sheaf of laudatory case studies about the company.
  • Armed with a sheaf of architectural drawings, he is trying to figure out a way to shift.
  • Thirty seamstresses bent their heads over a sheaf of drawings, and the clock began ticking toward another deadline.
  • Instead there was a sheaf of other letters, on good-quality cream-colored paper.
  • She dropped a sheaf of mail on the table without a glance.
  • The left foot of the eagle shall grasp a sheaf of arrows, the right foot shall grasp an olive branch showing three red berries.
British Dictionary definitions for sheaf


noun (pl) sheaves (ʃiːvz)
a bundle of reaped but unthreshed corn tied with one or two bonds
a bundle of objects tied together
the arrows contained in a quiver
(transitive) to bind or tie into a sheaf
Word Origin
Old English sceaf, related to Old High German skoub sheaf, Old Norse skauf tail, Gothic skuft tuft of hair
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sheaf
O.E. sceaf "sheaf of corn," from P.Gmc. *skaubaz (cf. M.Du. scoof, O.H.G. scoub, Ger. Schaub "sheaf;" O.N. skauf "fox's tail;" Goth. skuft "hair on the head," Ger. Schopf "tuft"). Also used in M.E. for "two dozen arrows."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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