sheath

[sheeth]
noun, plural sheaths [sheethz] .
1.
a case or covering for the blade of a sword, dagger, or the like.
2.
any similar close-fitting covering or case.
3.
a condom.
4.
Biology. a closely enveloping part or structure, as in an animal or plant.
5.
Botany. the leaf base when it forms a vertical coating surrounding the stem.
6.
a close-fitting dress, skirt, or coat, especially an unbelted dress with a straight drape.
7.
Electricity. the metal covering of a cable.
8.
Electronics.
a.
the metal wall of a wave guide.
b.
a space charge formed by ions near an electrode in a tube containing low-pressure gas.
c.
the region of a space charge in a cathode-ray tube.
verb (used with object)
9.
to sheathe.

Origin:
before 950; Middle English s(c)heth(e), Old English scēath; cognate with German Scheide; see shed2

sheathless, adjective
sheathlike, sheathy, adjective

sheath, sheathe.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sheath (ʃiːθ)
 
n , pl sheaths
1.  a case or covering for the blade of a knife, sword, etc
2.  any similar close-fitting case
3.  biology an enclosing or protective structure, such as a leaf base encasing the stem of a plant
4.  the protective covering on an electric cable
5.  a figure-hugging dress with a narrow tapering skirt
6.  another name for condom
 
vb
7.  (tr) another word for sheathe
 
[Old English scēath; related to Old Norse skeithir, Old High German sceida a dividing; compare Old English scādan to divide]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sheath
O.E. sceað, scæð, from P.Gmc. *skaithiz (cf. O.S. scethia, O.N. skeiðir (pl.), O.Fris. skethe, M.Du. schede, Du. schede, O.H.G. skaida, Ger. scheide "scabbard"), possibly from base *skaith "divide, split" (see shed (v.)) on notion of a split stick with the
sword blade inserted. Meaning "condom" is recorded from 1861; sense of "close-fitting dress or skirt" is attested from 1904.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sheath (shēth)
n. pl. sheaths (shēðz, shēths)
An enveloping tubular structure, such as the tissue that encloses a muscle or nerve fiber.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sheath   (shēth)  Pronunciation Key 
An enveloping tubular structure, such as the base of a grass leaf that surrounds the stem or the tissue that encloses a muscle or nerve fiber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Included carrying case is basically a thin, flimsy sheath not suitable for
  transporting anything of value.
To charge up the light, you wiggle the weatherproof sealed plastic case out of
  its soft silicone sheath.
Decorative tiles and marble sheath the counters and some walls.
The sheath takes its place alongside the company's other offerings, including a
  textured condom and one that glows in the dark.
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