Main definitions of sheer in English

: sheer1sheer2sheer3

sheer1

adjective

  • 1[attributive] Nothing other than; unmitigated (used for emphasis)

    ‘she giggled with sheer delight’
    ‘it's been sheer hard work’
    • ‘What other game could offer such grand spectacle, such majestic thrill, such sheer piercing insight into the raging heart of man!’
    • ‘And that is how one man made a life for himself through hard work, sheer determination, and utter loyalty.’
    • ‘It was out of sheer fear he wouldn't be able to stop himself from spewing out something nasty, thinly veiled as a compliment.’
    • ‘The 3-2 win there a few years back is probably still the best game I've ever played in, but for sheer drama it's hard to top winning a game in injury time.’
    • ‘She might be bright and good looking, and have impeccable genes thanks to a family comprising several generations of international swimmers, but it is sheer hard work that has carried her this far.’
    • ‘He had risen in the ranks of the party by the sheer dint of his hard work and forthrightness.’
    • ‘The dedication, loyalty and sheer hard work of staff means the school will go from strength to strength.’
    • ‘But the turnaround at times has been based on sheer will.’
    • ‘But with sheer will and determination he's pursued interests in athletics and music which you would have never thought possible.’
    • ‘Of course, this was because of the sheer damn quality of those songs.’
    • ‘Then began three months of hard work, and long nights mixed with sheer panic and pure delight that this project was becoming a reality.’
    • ‘For sheer value it's hard to beat the supermarkets.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago, I was interviewing Paul McCartney when he started talking about the sheer physical delight of singing rock 'n' roll.’
    • ‘He got his nickname from the brutal way in which he battled his foes, often winning through sheer might and endurance.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, by sheer dogged determination I have managed to observe and cogitate on a number of summer's wonders.’
    • ‘The sirens, the riot gear, and the officers' show of sheer numbers all combine to suggest that protest is an overwhelming threat to the public.’
    • ‘In such a situation, novels are read for the sheer delight of the plot twists, which often reflect the detours of our own destiny in this hustle-bustle world.’
    • ‘It may come to that, but that's going to take some sheer brute cash.’
    • ‘There's a quaintness in these tableaux that's at first charming but eventually slides into overkill through sheer grating repetition.’
    • ‘The pitch was invaded and tears of joy and emotion flowed as players, officials and supporters hugged each other with sheer delight hardly able to comprehend what they had achieved.’
    utter, complete, absolute, total, pure, perfect, downright, out-and-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, through and through, consummate, patent, surpassing, veritable, unqualified, unmitigated, unalloyed, unadulterated, unmixed
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  • 2(especially of a cliff or wall) perpendicular or nearly so.

    ‘the sheer ice walls’
    • ‘They had been grazing in one of Crete's dozens of fabulous gorges, where sheer cliffs soar spectacularly on either side as you head for the Mediterranean Sea.’
    • ‘Whereas the canyon's south side is terraced and textured, the north walls are sheer cliffs.’
    • ‘Here the Danube carves its way through heavily forested hills creating sheer cliffs on either side of the river.’
    • ‘The resulting crater is hundreds of feet from rim to rim and walled on one side by a sheer cliff.’
    • ‘Two miles south of Stonehaven, this impressive ruin sits on a flat peninsula with sheer cliffs on three sides.’
    • ‘Snails are why I grow strawberries in window boxes, not that a snail sees the sheer cliff of wall leading to the window ledge as anything but a challenge.’
    • ‘The waves crash onto the base of sheer cliffs on the ocean side.’
    • ‘Its streamlined modernist line in sheer cliff faces and sleek curvilinear walls was celebrated by leading architects of the day and was a perfect ingredient in Art Deco style.’
    • ‘But all that greeted his eye was and endless expanse of sand and waves in front of him, and the sheer wall of a rocky cliff behind.’
    • ‘The shore on this side of the break-water is sheer and tumbles down to a reef of broken rocks and large kelp-wigged boulders.’
    • ‘Our feet would get stuck in mud or we'd come up against a sheer cliff wall.’
    • ‘Sign up for one of the club's many naturalist-taught skill sessions and activities - like climbing walls of sheer ice.’
    • ‘The basin that had flooded became a thin, turbulent river at the bottom of a chasm, and their path was surrounded on either side by sheer cliffs of slate.’
    • ‘The sheer cliff walls rose ominously against the brutal onslaught of the waves below.’
    • ‘The delicate fragile fern and the larger fragrant wood fern nestle in the crevices of the sheer cliff off the northern side of the summit.’
    • ‘They reach land in unconventional fashion only to face an insane climb of a nearly sheer cliff at night and in a heavy rain.’
    • ‘That tour became the stuff of legends when the guide walked us out the other end and stopped before a sheer cliff wall.’
    • ‘With sheer walls on either side, access looked impossible.’
    • ‘Against my instinct to soar to the bottom of the drop-off, I reluctantly finned up the sheer wall into saner depths.’
    • ‘The side of the quarry is sheer, overhanging in places and a just off-vertical slope in others.’
    precipitous, very steep, perpendicular, vertical, abrupt, bluff, sharp, vertiginous
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  • 3(of a fabric) very thin; diaphanous.

    ‘sheer white silk chiffon’
    • ‘Gauze is a sheer, lightly woven fabric similar to cheesecloth.’
    • ‘Some designers have gone further by experimenting with sheer fabrics to add a seductive appeal.’
    • ‘A sheer, a see-through or sheer fabric usually used as an inner drapery, gives a softening effect to window treatment.’
    • ‘She made a modern day canopy that is often seen hanging from a ceiling with the sheer fabric draping over the bed.’
    • ‘Its sheer fabric whispers only sweet nothings.’
    • ‘Cheesecloth is the primary window covering, draped over curtain rods to create layers sheer enough to let light in, but dense enough to provide privacy.’
    • ‘My eyes fell upon the wedding dresses in the front, and I ran my fingers along the sheer fabrics and intricate lace.’
    • ‘Bias-cut dresses in silk, satin and sheer fabrics fit the bill for affairs that require strap heels and heavy flirting.’
    • ‘I love a challenge, and working with a new fabric provides that, so I recently decided to sew a sheer fabric.’
    • ‘Look for a wide band for support, uplifting underwire, and cups made of sturdy rather than sheer fabric.’
    • ‘Light pink sheer fabric was scalloped between the posts on my bed.’
    • ‘As Mona she wears glittering, flimsy garments with sheer embroidered scarves, hennaed hair, nail varnish and lipstick.’
    • ‘Versace officials did not immediately answer requests for details on how such sheer, long-sleeved dresses stay put.’
    • ‘The dress was white, with a sheer fabric over it.’
    • ‘The key to looking your best is to pick one feature to highlight, and then use colors and formulas sheer enough to let your naturally gorgeous self shine through.’
    • ‘Then, sew a sheer fabric, such as organdy, into a slip-on case with a graceful 3-inch flange.’
    • ‘Because the building is dwarfed by its neighbours, windows have been screened with sheer fabric through which can be seen shadows of the surrounding city.’
    • ‘It perforated the sheer fabric of her chemise, ran through her body and whipped up the flotsam in her heart.’
    • ‘It was a mix of denim, sheer fabrics and bold accessories.’
    • ‘To ensure the sheer fabric in the appliqué won't show, select a color close to the garment it will be placed on.’
    diaphanous, gauzy, filmy, floaty, very thin, translucent, transparent, see-through, gossamer, gossamer-like, chiffony, insubstantial, ultra-fine, fine
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adverb

  • 1Perpendicularly.

    ‘the ridge fell sheer, in steep crags’
    • ‘The mountains are massive red sandstone lumps, their vertical faces rising to table-tops or dropping sheer into canyons.’
    • ‘On the other, a 200 ft - high-cliff fell sheer into scree slopes and the plain below.’
    • ‘The hill rises sheer above me, going probably 100 feet up.’
    • ‘This reef then plunges sheer for another 10m or so to the bottom of the channel.’
    • ‘On the far side was an impressive waterfall, thundering down some sixty feet into the lake from a huge cave in a mountain rising up sheer from the water's edge.’
  • 2archaic Completely; right.

    ‘she went sheer forward when the door was open’

noun

  • A very fine or diaphanous fabric or article.

    ‘I put up the new curtains and sheers’
    ‘she ditched her glossy sheers while pregnant’
    • ‘I was just pinning up the sheers before basting them in place, but that can wait.’
    • ‘Though it may be fine for others, the romantic cottage look of sheers, lace, and ruffles is not for him.’
    • ‘Even in summer, you can play with deep sheers for a touch of drama.’
    • ‘Hopefully my curtains will arrive today and I can take them around to various stores to try to match sheers to them.’
    • ‘For the sheer overlay, pick an embroidered sheer or a sheer in a color contrasting to the base fabric for an interesting combination.’
    • ‘They included a paper-touch cotton batiste; cotton poplin with a water-repellent finish; and sheers in blends of viscose and nylon.’
    • ‘If you go with colored sheers, just make sure they do not clash with your house color.’
    • ‘Quick to sew in less than two hours, you can sew this shrug in a variety of fabrics: sheers - such as georgette and chiffon - shantungs, linen, crepe, even velvet.’
    • ‘The brightness of the sun shown through the sheers, the drapes now pulled back by a nurse who had awakened me.’
    • ‘It really depends on the fabric content of the sheers.’
    • ‘If you are sewing sheers then three times the fullness is what you want.’
    • ‘Each room, separated by walls of white sheers, incorporated fabric samples from exhibitors.’
    • ‘Maria entered also in her polka - dot sheer from her last dance.’
    • ‘The sun was shining brightly through the billowing sheers on her windows.’
    • ‘It all depends on the fiber content of the sheers.’
    • ‘Create a valance with four fabrics that coordinate with a fabric shade or sheers.’
    • ‘Starla suggests that if you are not happy with the typical white sheers, dye them with an inexpensive fabric dye!’
    • ‘The firm is highlighting textured woven dobbies and jacquards for bedding, as well as sheers, semi-sheers and silk-look taffetas for window coverings.’
    • ‘Since nude-coloured sheers, however fine, have been outlawed, we are confronted with what else to do about coverage.’
    • ‘Set aside your summer sheers and barely there colors.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘exempt, cleared’): probably an alteration of dialect shire ‘pure, clear’, from the Germanic base of the verb shine. In the mid 16th century the word was used to describe clear, pure water, and also in sheer.

Pronunciation:

sheer

/ʃɪə/

Main definitions of sheer in English

: sheer1sheer2sheer3

sheer2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (typically of a boat) swerve or change course quickly.

    ‘the boat sheered off to beach further up the coast’
    • ‘There were numerous occasions when the threat of gunfire caused a raider to sheer off at speed.’
    • ‘The Marine Accident Investigation Branch said the collision was caused by the training ship Arold - which had a qualified pilot on board, as well as three trainees and six crew - losing control when she suddenly sheered to port on a bend.’
    • ‘River-users who had painted nightmare scenarios of fully laden petrol barges sheering off mud banks into the bridge welcomed the change of heart as a triumph for common sense.’
    • ‘River users say that the measures do not address the real problem of the bridge itself and claim fully laden petrol barges could sheer off mudbanks close by and plough into it.’
    • ‘Horses were constantly overtaking the buffalo, riders were bending down, horses were sheering off, buffalo were falling.’
    • ‘As he says, to watch the seabirds sheer off the surface as these monsters plough through the waves is a sight never to be forgotten.’
    • ‘But they say that the measures do not address the real problem of the bridge itself and have painted nightmare scenarios of fully laden petrol barges sheering off mudbanks close by and ploughing into it.’
    • ‘This didn't stop them from moving into hymn-singing mode, though, which made sure that any nocturnal wild camels that might have got within range swiftly sheered off.’
    swerve, swing, veer, slew, skew, change course, drift, yaw
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Avoid or move away from an unpleasant topic.
      ‘her mind sheered away from images she didn't want to dwell on’

noun

  • A sudden deviation from a course, especially by a boat.

    • ‘The vessel apparently, through something having gone wrong with the steering gear, took a sudden sheer to port, ran out of the channel and grounded on the edge of it.’

Usage

The two verbs sheer and shear have a similar origin but do not have identical meanings. Sheer, the less common verb, means ‘swerve or change course quickly’, as in the boat sheers off the bank. Shear, on the other hand, usually means ‘cut the wool off a sheep’ and can also mean ‘break off ’, as in the pins broke and the wing part sheared off

Origin

Early 17th century: perhaps from Middle Low German scheren to shear.

Pronunciation:

sheer

/ʃɪə/

Main definitions of sheer in English

: sheer1sheer2sheer3

sheer3

noun

  • [mass noun] The upward slope of a ship's lines towards the bow and stern.

    • ‘The sheer of the B40 is slightly flatter, the transom more vertical and broader, and the bow slightly less spoon-shaped.’
    • ‘The decks and hulls are joined at an outward turning flange with a substantial guardrail fit directly beneath the flange to prevent damage to the sheer.’
    • ‘It was flush-decked, with a low sheer and a freeboard of no more than six or seven feet, yet that was high enough to make things difficult for a man in the water.’

Origin

Late 17th century: probably from the noun shear.

Pronunciation:

sheer

/ʃɪə/