That sadness, and the sheer level of pain I was in almost paralyzed me, leaving me unable to take care of my home or my children.
The riots had been treated as “a public order issue” rather than as sheer criminality.
The sheer number of people who need to be rehoused is itself an enormous issue.
For every cigarette, there is a lollipop, and for every act of violence or despair, there is a moment of sheer comic absurdity.
The sheer amount of mail makes it practically impossible to have anyone in customs to notice anything.
To suppose that the weak must prevail because it was weak was sheer sentimentality.
On them it is forced from without, by sheer pressure of circumstance.
It seemed now inevitable that sheer force must decide between them.
Mary stood silent for a moment from sheer amazement over the change.
It was only sheer shame which hindered the ladies from turning back from the threshold.
c.1200, "exempt, free from guilt" (e.g. Sheer Thursday, the Thursday of Holy Week); later schiere "thin, sparse" (c.1400), from Old English scir "bright, clear, gleaming; translucent; pure, unmixed," and influenced by Old Norse cognate scær "bright, clean, pure," both from Proto-Germanic *skeran- (cf. Old Saxon skiri, Old Frisian skire, German schier, Gothic skeirs "clean, pure"), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
Sense of "absolute, utter" (sheer nonsense) developed 1580s, probably from the notion of "unmixed;" that of "very steep" (a sheer cliff) is first recorded 1800, probably from notion of "continued without halting." Meaning "diaphanous" is from 1560s. As an adverb from c.1600.
1620s, "deviate from course" (of a ship), of obscure origin, perhaps from Dutch scheren "to move aside, withdraw, depart," originally "to separate" (see shear (v.)). Related: Sheered; shearing. As a noun from 1660s.