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.