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[sheep-skin] /ˈʃipˌskɪn/
the skin of a sheep, especially such a skin dressed with the wool on, as for a garment.
leather, parchment, or the like, made from the skin of sheep.
Informal. a diploma.
made from the skin of a sheep.
(of a garment) lined with the skin of a sheep dressed with the wool on.
Origin of sheepskin
1150-1200; Middle English shepskinn. See sheep, skin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sheepskin
  • His under garment was sackcloth, over which he wore a white coat of sheepskin, with a girdle.
  • Employers are quick to use the sheepskin as an easy gating mechanism for entrance to or advancement of employment.
  • They dressed up in wide white pants, sheepskin vests, and carved wood masks with sheep's horns.
  • The players on horseback compete for points by throwing a stuffed sheepskin into a well.
  • Mounted players compete for points by throwing a stuffed sheepskin into a well.
  • She wears red hooded sweatshirts and little sheepskin booties.
  • Originally hand-drawn on sheepskin, traditional nautical charts have for generations been printed on paper.
  • Avoid synthetic sheepskin for pressure redistribution.
  • The book shelves are cast iron and were originally covered in sheepskin.
  • Thanks to the snow and the sheepskin coat that he is wearing in this photo, his only injury was a broken collar bone.
British Dictionary definitions for sheepskin


  1. the skin of a sheep, esp when used for clothing, etc, or with the fleece removed and used for parchment
  2. (as modifier): a sheepskin coat
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 sheepskin

c.1200, "the skin of a sheep," from sheep + skin (n.). Meaning "diploma" dates from 1804; so called because formerly made of sheepskin parchment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sheepskin



: one of those Sheeny employment bureaus

  1. A Jew
  2. A pawnbroker, tailor, junkman, or member of another traditionally Jewish occupation

[1816+; origin unknown; perhaps fr non-Jewish hearing of Yiddish miesse meshina, a curse; perhaps fr Yiddish shayn or sheen, ''beautiful,'' because this is the way a merchant would praise his wares]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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