follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

sheer2

[sheer] /ʃɪər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to deviate from a course, as a ship; swerve.
verb (used with object)
2.
to cause to sheer.
3.
Shipbuilding. to give sheer to (a hull).
noun
4.
a deviation or divergence, as of a ship from its course; swerve.
5.
Shipbuilding. the fore-and-aft upward curve of the hull of a vessel at the main deck or bulwarks.
6.
Nautical. the position in which a ship at anchor is placed to keep it clear of the anchor.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; special use of sheer1; compare sense development of clear
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sheering

sheer1

/ʃɪə/
adjective
1.
perpendicular; very steep a sheer cliff
2.
(of textiles) so fine as to be transparent
3.
(prenominal) absolute; unmitigated sheer folly
4.
(obsolete) bright or shining
adverb
5.
steeply or perpendicularly
6.
completely or absolutely
noun
7.
any transparent fabric used for making garments
Derived Forms
sheerly, adverb
sheerness, noun
Word Origin
Old English scīr; related to Old Norse skīrr bright, Gothic skeirs clear, Middle High German schīr

sheer2

/ʃɪə/
verb foll by off or away (from)
1.
to deviate or cause to deviate from a course
2.
(intransitive) to avoid an unpleasant person, thing, topic, etc
noun
3.
the upward sweep of the deck or bulwarks of a vessel
4.
(nautical) the position of a vessel relative to its mooring
Word Origin
C17: perhaps variant of shear
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sheering

sheer

adj.

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.

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sheer

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sheering

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sheering