Main definitions of sheet in English

: sheet1sheet2

sheet1

noun

  • 1A large rectangular piece of cotton or other fabric, used on a bed to cover the mattress and as a layer beneath blankets when these are used.

    • ‘We're surrounded by pillows, blankets and sun-smelling cotton sheets.’
    • ‘The game consisted of two large pieces of plywood, covered with while linen sheets.’
    • ‘Four hours later I woke up, my eyes fluttering open, the sheets around me damp with sweat.’
    • ‘I jumped up from my bed (which was just a mattress with a fitted sheet and blanket on the floor) and grabbed the phone from off my desk.’
    • ‘Papa lay on a steel table covered with a white sheet drawn up to his chest.’
    • ‘Tom's bed was vacant, the sheets pulled back a fair way.’
    • ‘If they need to rest in bed, cover them with a light sheet rather than blankets or a quilt and keep the room cool.’
    • ‘You can help by donating blankets, sheets, duvets, guilds, curtains and other such items but they must be clean and in good condition.’
    • ‘Her hands were palm-down on the soft sheets, arms perfectly spaced on either side of her body.’
    • ‘Choice made, we settled down to a night of relaxation under the crisp cotton sheets and cosy duvet.’
    • ‘Mary quietly got off the bed and covered him with the sheet and blanket.’
    • ‘He pulled the sheets open for her and eased her in and tucked her inside like she was a helpless puppy.’
    • ‘Although she was toasty and warm under blankets and cotton sheets, she was still shivering fairly violently.’
    • ‘Sleeping blankets and covers, sheets and quilts have been made - with the children's assistance.’
    • ‘I opened the thin sheets and he came in next to me.’
    • ‘Nothing made sense but the darkness behind her eyes and the scratchy cotton of the sheets beneath her skin.’
    • ‘Once I slid the robe onto him, he lay back, and I covered him with a sheet and a light blanket.’
    • ‘On each mattress were soft-blue sheets, but no blankets or comforters.’
    • ‘The bed was very masculine, covered in dark sheets and white blankets.’
    • ‘Especially when we saw that the bedding comprised of sheets and blankets!’
    bed linen, linen, bedclothes
    View synonyms
  • 2A rectangular piece of paper, especially one of a standard size produced commercially and used for writing and printing on.

    ‘a sheet of unmarked paper’
    • ‘Finally, Burrose finished typing, and his printer spat out a sheet of paper that he handed to Tom.’
    • ‘The primary method of examination is to ask the patient to read and pronounce a standard list of words from a sheet of paper.’
    • ‘Do this on a large A3 sheet and you get a sheet of size A4.’
    • ‘The whole image can then be printed on a long roll of paper on an ordinary printer or as strips on standard sheets of paper.’
    • ‘At first, the prints were only the size of a sheet of typing paper.’
    • ‘Our microprocessor isn't some tiny silicon die - it's the size of a sheet of paper, maybe two.’
    • ‘Just as she closed her eyes again a huge gust of wind smashed her windows open, sending sheets of paper from her desk to the floor.’
    • ‘It was wrapped in a sheet of writing paper, tied off with a blue bow.’
    • ‘The array consisted of each letter of the alphabet listed twice, once in lower case and once in upper case, displayed in random order on a sheet of paper.’
    • ‘One of the pieces I like the most in the exhibition is a sheet of printing material that dates back to 1491.’
    • ‘After passing up their homework, the class took out a sheet of paper and their writing materials for their quiz.’
    • ‘You can also do this when they are wet - just be gentle when opening the dry sheets as spots may be stuck together.’
    • ‘It is a neat little unit - exactly the same size as a sheet of A4 paper, and only 65 mm high.’
    • ‘‘God yes,’ she replied, eyes not leaving the sheets of writing paper she was scrawling all over.’
    • ‘You will never again sit by your grandmother's bed as she makes those huge paper boats from single sheets of paper for you to sail on rivers produced by the rain.’
    • ‘He held up a piece of white cardboard, about the size of a sheet of note paper.’
    • ‘Walking over to her writing area, he picked up a sheet of paper.’
    • ‘Use permanent markers to avoid smudging, and place a sheet of ruled paper underneath so that the writing is evenly spaced.’
    • ‘Despite its size - smaller than a sheet of A4 paper - the X40 sacrifices little in performance.’
    • ‘This outermost layer of your skin is about as thick as a sheet of writing paper.’
    piece of paper, leaf, page, folio
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A quantity of text or other information contained on a sheet of paper.
      ‘he produced yet another sheet of figures’
      • ‘As the data sheet is printed, any nonconforming numbers appear in red for easy identification and trigger corrective action.’
      • ‘Return the answer sheet printed at the end of the article and fill out all sections carefully.’
      • ‘A series of dive-marshalling sheets on the noticeboard ensures that no more than 20 divers are in the water at a time.’
      • ‘Copy the answer sheet printed at the end of this article and fill out all sections completely.’
      • ‘The woman told me that I needed to get my pledge sheet stamped as evidence that I'd actually done the walk.’
      • ‘The backs of the information sheets may be used, but I found it easier to use a regular sheet of paper to record that kind of stuff.’
      • ‘He even printed out a lyric sheet (just the one song) which is now being used by some tuneless people in the lounge!’
      • ‘He had also wanted to see the information sheet of 14 October 1996.’
      • ‘The RAPIDS database provides a single sheet of information for each project.’
      • ‘Grabbing the sheet of information, Scott jumped from his chair, and flew out the door.’
    2. 2.2Printing A flat piece of paper as opposed to a reel of continuous paper, the bound pages of a book, or a folded map.
    3. 2.3 All the postage stamps printed on one piece of paper.
      ‘a sheet of 1p stamps’
      • ‘Here she embellished sheets of postage stamps with silk thread; the sewing records the situations in which they were sewn.’
      • ‘Whoever wishes to give a personal touch to stamps can have their photos printed on stamp sheets and use them.’
      • ‘The film's title is a reference to the sheet of nine rare postage stamps, which they see as their ticket to the top.’
      • ‘That poses a problem with perforation and overlapping other similar stamps on the sheet.’
      • ‘In your May issue you ran an ad for a sheet of Richard Petty postage stamps.’
    4. 2.4 A map, especially one part of a series covering a larger area.
      • ‘These cartographic sheets were used to draft base maps for 6 of the 20 survey zones.’
  • 3A broad flat piece of material such as metal or glass.

    ‘the small pipe has been formed from a flat sheet of bronze’
    • ‘The ceiling, which I had expected to be covered in fake palm trees and coconuts, is lined with sheets of bronzed metal, which gives the place a modern touch.’
    • ‘The new plant will make the glass sheets used in flat panel television and computer displays beginning in October 2005.’
    • ‘Essentially, it is a matter of adding a pigment to the interlayer material between the sheets of glass.’
    • ‘Roll out the pasta dough into a sheet and stamp out 7.5cm rounds with a pastry cutter.’
    • ‘We were in the lobby of the building; the sheet glass handrails along the central staircase all wavered back and forth throughout the quake.’
    • ‘When the reverse side is worked to completion, the lacquer is heated and the metal sheet separated and thoroughly cleaned and work begins on the front.’
    • ‘We do not need a whole new building with flying sheets of glass and yet another piazza of bars and cafes.’
    • ‘The problem was that the metal sheet was glued to the door frame, but the adhesive did not properly take grip.’
    • ‘The use of natural fibers can serve as reinforcements in a matrix material between two metal sheets.’
    • ‘Many families now use sheets of metal or plastic to roof their houses.’
    • ‘Others watched as sheets of metal flapped visibly and noisily.’
    • ‘Mostly the effects and material were taken from the theatre where a metal sheet would replicate thunder and a hard board against another would give the illusion of gunshots.’
    • ‘These light guides may take the form of three overlying plastic or glass sheets.’
    • ‘They used Vietnam-era metal sheets, artifacts of a previous war.’
    • ‘All appliances were placed in a wooden box protected with insulation material and plastic sheets.’
    • ‘Several sheets of metal and various pieces of junk were thrust into the air as a strange device emerged from its hiding place.’
    • ‘The filter plates are formed on a polymer sheet with a series of holes ablated using an eximer laser.’
    • ‘It has been constructed mostly of perforated sheets supported with waterproof materials like fibreglass wool and thermocole.’
    • ‘But as it was four sheets of glass glued together, it was also very thick and extremely heavy.’
    • ‘To excel as a mogul skier, you must be on a mogul ski - essentially an old-school slalom ski without the heavy sheets of metal.’
    pane, panel, piece, plate
    View synonyms
  • 4An extensive unbroken surface area of something.

    ‘Loch Affric is a lovely sheet of water among trees’
    as modifier ‘sheet ice’
    • ‘He had long, slightly curly black hair, and beautiful blue eyes that were so light that they looked as if the had a sheet of ice clouding them.’
    • ‘The onset of winter blankets all in a sheet of white, as snow and ice mask the landscape.’
    • ‘The whole park was a sheet of white, the sidewalk, the ground and even the benches.’
    • ‘By Thursday the pavements were like sheets of ice, but who cares about people falling over?’
    • ‘In other taxa, a sheet of bone develops ventrally, between the pila and the basisphenoid.’
    • ‘They may coalesce to form extensive sheets of exudate.’
    • ‘Counts were made within a 21 x 21 cm area delimited by a sheet of acetate.’
    • ‘But most arctic sea ice consists of pack ice, broken sheets moved by wind and ocean currents.’
    • ‘Solid areas show sheets of uniform, polygonal, epithelioid cells separated by delicate blood vessels.’
    • ‘Yet there is a sense in which colour - great unbroken sheets of it - compose the semi-arid environments in which he spent so much of his life.’
    • ‘Cover this with a sheet of plastic the size of the slice of bread.’
    • ‘It will freeze like a sheet of ice on your face the minute you go out.’
    • ‘Carelessly she ran over to the edges to collect more, but slipped and almost fell because of a sheet of ice that was hidden on the floor underneath the snow.’
    • ‘Imagine space time as a sheet of rubber, stretched flat when there is no matter present.’
    • ‘A sheet of charcoal clouds stretches into white lace: confusion letting in light.’
    • ‘You should be able to stretch it with the fingers of both hands into an unbroken sheet at least 3 inches across.’
    • ‘The researchers need to test the material in a vacuum to see how it might perform in space, so they stretch triangular sheets of the cloth over four booms that form a square, and pump all the air out.’
    • ‘Once he finally got parked, he nearly broke his neck slipping on a sheet of black ice.’
    • ‘Skaters were also having a splendid time in Victoria Park, which had been flooded, and was covered with a sheet of ice in grand condition.’
    • ‘I was going somewhere with my mom, and she slipped on a sheet of ice.’
    layer, stratum
    expanse, area, stretch, sweep
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 A broad moving mass of flames or water.
      ‘the rain was still falling in sheets’
      • ‘A cool wind blew at us from the trees, slanting the sheets of flame so their tongues lashed out at the camp.’
      • ‘He could not see much detail through the sheets of rain, but he had snooped about this area before, so he had a fair idea of what it looked like.’
      • ‘Heavy sheets of water were battering the pavements.’
      • ‘This fusion event pinches off the water sheets, trapping the water in cylindrical pores, which are the hallmark of inverted phases.’
      • ‘Almost 40 mm of rain fell on Saturday night, leaving sheets of water on the oval that is used only during finals.’
      • ‘The image is clear and detailed, the sheets of water and sky flawless, the poised moment evocative but unemotional.’
      • ‘Rain began to drip down from the sky, slowly getting heavier until the sky was pouring sheets of water down upon the participants.’
      • ‘The devastation was horrific: vast palls of smoke billowing from twisted window frames and sheets of flame shooting up the side of the building.’
      • ‘Suddenly the creek falls in a graceful sheet of water into a turquoise pool.’
      • ‘The drama of being a small person within a vast black space, relieved by gashes of red light, sheets of flame and more spots of white light, has to be experienced.’
      • ‘It finally rained at night, quiet but intense rain, the sort where you look out and see sheets of water moving across vast tracts of Singapore like a purposive entity.’
      • ‘I will sleep, I think; for the sheets of shimmering water are growing dark and angry, and the wind is rising.’
      • ‘Water lay in sheets on the paddocks; the luggage on the carts was glistening.’
      • ‘Steam hissed and water came in cascading sheets as she shook the biting coldness away.’
      • ‘The sheets of water streaming from the black sky slipped and slid over the wooden surface of the deck.’
      • ‘By three o'clock on this November afternoon it is already dark, with a gale raging and rain sweeping in sheets across the angry water of the loch.’
      • ‘Water spills in glassy sheets over the copper-topped wall, as well as from three keyhole notches along its facade.’
      • ‘They fired different kinds of shell, which exploded in front of us, sending up great sheets of water.’
      • ‘I just drove and watched the water run in sheets across the road where the sun was melting snow out in the open.’
      • ‘Its sheet of water falls smoothly into a shallow canal that continues the lines of the building, and reflects both it and the rich vegetation of the park.’

verb

  • 1with object Cover with or wrap in a sheet of cloth.

    ‘lorry drivers don't sheet their loads’
    • ‘Delivery vehicles will be sheeted and limited to five movements to and from the plant each working day.’
    • ‘These low buildings have no movement; the windows are sheeted like mirrors to hide their games from anyone outside and this is as it should be.’
    • ‘It would have been already put up, but would be sheeted over in respect of Good Friday, then opened in all its loud raucous noisy shining glory on Easter Saturday.’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction (of rain) fall in large quantities.

    ‘rain sheeted down’
    • ‘Crowds jostle and a six-piece jazz band begins to entertain the captive audience as the rain sheets down outside.’
    • ‘The photo is slightly murky because of the sleet sheeting down from the sky and the fact that I'm trying to keep my arm from blowing off.’
    • ‘Who wants to pay £22 to seat on a small plastic seat for 90 minutes, in the blistering cold, rain sheeting into your face.’
    • ‘At ten o'clock it was sheeting down, a huge torrent, and the cars on the road outside threw up massive sprays as they whizzed passed.’
    • ‘Inevitably the rain starts sheeting down, but it's no deterrent to visitors intent on a walk on the beach while the faint-hearted pack J.D Wetherspoon, the Promenades and the amusement arcades.’
    • ‘Outside a fine mist of drizzle is sheeting down.’
    • ‘He could now see that it was really smoking and a fire was blazing in spite of the rain sheeting down around it.’
    • ‘We awake to hissing, bruise-coloured curtains of rain sheeting over the decks, the sky blacker than a preacher's gown.’
    • ‘The rain is sheeting down out of a heavy sky, turning the Knavesmire into more of a quagmire.’
    • ‘Rain was sheeting down and it was freezing cold.’
    • ‘Rain sheets down, fog descends, soldiers' boots squelch through mud on an endless, agonising climb.’

Phrases

  • (as) white as a sheet

    • (of a person) very pale, especially from shock.

      • ‘The doctor was white as a sheet but it couldn't have been nice for him.’
      • ‘After he relaxed, the delayed shock hit him and he turned white as a sheet.’
      • ‘If a red-faced man can turn white as a sheet, then the unfortunate plumber had done so.’
      • ‘Marc dressed in black, looking thin as a rake and white as a sheet.’
      • ‘I felt totally shocked, went white as a sheet, and couldn't stop shaking.’
      • ‘The boy stopped dead, face going white as a sheet.’
      • ‘Robert gasped in amazement, his mouth gaped open, he went as white as a sheet and his eyes opened wide.’
      • ‘I woke up this morning white as a sheet after one of the greatest footballing nights of my life.’
      • ‘By the time all this is over I shall be about three feet tall and white as a sheet, with hair like the snows of Mount Fuji, and so worn out that I shall have to spend the rest of my life reclining on a sofa like a frail Victorian lady.’
      • ‘One day, Ashley came over and she was white as a sheet.’

Origin

Old English scēte, scīete, of Germanic origin; related to the verb shoot in its primary sense ‘to project’.

Pronunciation

sheet

/ʃiːt/

Main definitions of sheet in English

: sheet1sheet2

sheet2

noun

Nautical
  • 1A rope attached to the lower corner of a sail for securing or extending the sail or for altering its direction.

    • ‘Soon all three of us have got the hang of tacking, pulling in and letting out the sheets (the ropes attached to the sails) and steering.’
    • ‘The guy got very frustrated with Andy who didn't realise that ropes are called sheets in the sailing world.’
    • ‘It's the one the sheet is attached to on a foresail, and the one the outhaul is attached to on the main.’
    • ‘Turn into the wind and let out the sheet to allow the sail to go slack.’
    • ‘With one sail, one halyard, one sheet, and two winches, the boat is the ultimate in uncomplicated sailing.’
  • 2sheetsThe space at the bow or stern of an open boat.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]sheet something in/out
Nautical
  • 1Make a sail more or less taut.

    ‘notice also how he is sheeting in the sail’
    ‘you need to sheet it out considerably to slow down’
    • ‘We dropped everything except the main and mizzen, tried in vain to get some speed, then gave up and sheeted them in tight and turned on the engine.’
    • ‘The tiller goes down, the sails are sheeted in flat and tight, the boat heels into the wind and we to turn to hammer over the line a couple of seconds afterwards, safe and in the lead.’
    1. 1.1sheet something home Extend a sail by tightening the sheets so that the sail is set as flat as possible.
      ‘the jib is sheeted home’
      • ‘The first vessels moved away from the docks while canvas crept up the masts and sails were sheeted home, and they watched in fascination as the entire convoy began to move.’

Phrases

  • two (or three) sheets to the wind

    • informal Drunk.

      ‘he reclined, two sheets to the wind, his back propped against the wall’
      • ‘We were three sheets to the wind on ‘The Cutty’.’
      • ‘But the icing on the whole cake for me, the thing that I will always remember as priceless, was our friend D.A., three sheets to the wind and parked on the end of the couch with orders from his wife not to move.’
      • ‘Once the Times identifies some emerging trend, that trend is already three sheets to the wind.’
      • ‘No, I mean, that kiss, way back when you were three sheets to the wind, when you kissed me, that was your first kiss, ever?’
      • ‘And as usual, dear reader, I was cursed with the ability to remember every sordid detail despite being three sheets to the wind.’
      • ‘‘He was three sheets to the wind when he got back to the airport,’ said Quinlan as we talked in Jury's Inn on the banks of the Shannon last week.’
      • ‘I once stumbled onto college radio three sheets to the wind and pronounced it so, and proceeded to emit a ghoulish, gurgling on-mic scream.’
      • ‘‘People are being put off going into the town because of the behaviour of these men who think it's great fun to come out of the clubs, three sheets to the wind, and smash windows,’ she said.’
      • ‘I hadn't seen much of him at the party, but as we talked I realized that he was maybe not three, but at least two sheets to the wind.’
      • ‘I'd start intelligent debate about it but I was three sheets to the wind when I watched it and recall very little about it.’

Origin

Old English scēata ‘lower corner of a sail’, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse skauti ‘kerchief’ (see also sheet).

Pronunciation

sheet

/ʃiːt/