"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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.
Origin of sheaf
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web 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

Old English sceaf (plural sceafas) "large bundle of corn," from Proto-Germanic *skauf- (cf. Old Saxon scof, Middle Dutch scoof, Dutch schoof, Old High German scoub "sheaf, bundle," German Schaub "sheaf;" Old Norse skauf "fox's tail;" Gothic skuft "hair on the head," German Schopf "tuft"), from PIE root *(s)keup- "cluster, tuft, hair of the head." Extended to bundles of things other than grain by c.1300. Also used in Middle English for "two dozen arrows." General sense of "a collection" is from 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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