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

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

sheathless, adjective
sheathlike, sheathy, adjective

sheath, sheathe. Unabridged


verb (used with object), sheathed, sheathing.
to put (a sword, dagger, etc.) into a sheath.
to plunge (a sword, dagger, etc.) in something as if in a sheath.
to enclose in or as if in a casing or covering.
to cover or provide with a protective layer or sheathing: to sheathe a roof with copper.
to cover (a cable, electrical connector, etc.) with a metal sheath for grounding.

1350–1400; Middle English shethen, derivative of sheath

sheather, noun

sheath, sheathe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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]

sheathe (ʃiːð)
1.  to insert (a knife, sword, etc) into a sheath
2.  (esp of cats) to retract (the claws)
3.  to surface with or encase in a sheath or sheathing

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. 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.

c.1400, "to furnish (a sword, etc.) with a sheath," from sheath (q.v.); meaning "to put (a sword, etc.) in a sheath" is attested from c.1430.
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
Their seats are decorated with doilies and sheathed in plastic.
It is partially sheathed on the sides and has a deep overhang reminiscent of
  the rakish prow of a ship.
When an ax is transported in a vehicle or on a horse or mule, it always should
  be sheathed or boxed.
These cripple walls are weak typically sheathed with only stucco or horizontal
  wood siding on the exterior side of the wall.
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