What does sheer mean?

Definitions for sheer

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sheer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. absolute, downright, out-and-out(a), rank(a), right-down, sheer(a)adjective

    complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers

    "absolute freedom"; "an absolute dimwit"; "a downright lie"; "out-and-out mayhem"; "an out-and-out lie"; "a rank outsider"; "many right-down vices"; "got the job through sheer persistence"; "sheer stupidity"

  2. plain, sheer, unmingled, unmixedadjective

    not mixed with extraneous elements

    "plain water"; "sheer wine"; "not an unmixed blessing"

  3. bluff, bold, sheeradjective

    very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front

    "a bluff headland"; "where the bold chalk cliffs of England rise"; "a sheer descent of rock"

  4. diaphanous, filmy, gauzy, gauze-like, gossamer, see-through, sheer, transparent, vaporous, vapourous, cobwebbyverb

    so thin as to transmit light

    "a hat with a diaphanous veil"; "filmy wings of a moth"; "gauzy clouds of dandelion down"; "gossamer cobwebs"; "sheer silk stockings"; "transparent chiffon"; "vaporous silks"

  5. swerve, sheer, curve, trend, veer, slue, slew, cutverb

    turn sharply; change direction abruptly

    "The car cut to the left at the intersection"; "The motorbike veered to the right"

  6. sheeradverb

    cause to sheer

    "She sheered her car around the obstacle"

  7. sheer, perpendicularlyadverb

    straight up or down without a break

  8. sheeradverb


    "he fell sheer into the water"


  1. sheernoun

    The curve of the main deck or gunwale from bow to stern.

  2. sheernoun

    An abrupt swerve from the course of a ship.

  3. sheerverb

    To swerve from a course.

  4. sheerverb

    To shear.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sheerverb

    bright; clear; pure; unmixed

  2. Sheerverb

    very thin or transparent; -- applied to fabrics; as, sheer muslin

  3. Sheerverb

    being only what it seems to be; obvious; simple; mere; downright; as, sheer folly; sheer nonsense

  4. Sheerverb

    stright up and down; vertical; prpendicular

  5. Sheeradverb

    clean; quite; at once

  6. Sheerverb

    to shear

  7. Sheerverb

    to decline or deviate from the line of the proper course; to turn aside; to swerve; as, a ship sheers from her course; a horse sheers at a bicycle

  8. Sheernoun

    the longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side

  9. Sheernoun

    the position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it

  10. Sheernoun

    a turn or change in a course

  11. Sheernoun

    shears See Shear

  12. Etymology: [See Shear.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sheer

    shēr, adj. pure: unmingled: simple: without a break, perpendicular.—adv. clear: quite: at once. [Ice. skærr, bright; Ice. skírr, A.S. scír.]

  2. Sheer

    shēr, v.i. to deviate from the line of the proper course, as a ship: to turn aside.—n. the deviation from the straight line, or the longitudinal curve or bend of a ship's deck or sides.—ns. Sheer′-hulk, an old dismasted ship with a pair of sheers mounted on it for masting ships; Sheer′-leg, one of the spars.—n.pl. Sheers, an apparatus for hoisting heavy weights, having usually two legs or spars spread apart at their lower ends, and bearing at their tops, where they are joined, hoisting-tackle. [Perh. Dut. scheren, to cut, withdraw.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. sheer

    The longitudinal curve of a ship's decks or sides; the hanging of the vessel's side in a fore-and-aft direction. Also, a fishing-spear in use on the south coast. (See SHEAR.) Also, the position in which a ship is sometimes kept when at single anchor, in order to keep her clear of it [evidently from the Erse sheebh, to drift].

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sheer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4341

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sheer' in Adjectives Frequency: #587

How to pronounce sheer?

How to say sheer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sheer in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sheer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of sheer in a Sentence

  1. Paul Pillar:

    One cannot expect U.S. consular officers to conduct the equivalent of an FBI background investigation on every visa application; the sheer volume of applications they must review would preclude doing so.

  2. David Brown:

    Everybody can find their own Turner, he has so much to offer. It's the sheer color and excitement of the paint which people respond to.

  3. Jack Mydlo:

    Those are two major population complexes, so Rajveer Purohit're going to see a lot [ of cases ] just by the sheer size of the population Rajveer Purohit're dealing with, the sad thing is that patients are usually embarrassed to go to the doctor or the emergency room.

  4. Susan Sontag:

    Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life -- its material plenitude, its sheer crowdedness -- conjoin to dull our sensory faculties.

  5. Harminder Sahni:

    Where brick and mortar grocery in India fails to muster scale, online can do it very, very quickly just by the sheer opportunity of reaching a number of people with much less investment.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sheer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • transparent, bloß, schier, rein, pur, vertikal, steil, durchsichtig, hauchdünn, senkrechtGerman
  • escarpado, acantilado, muy delgado, fino, puro, vertical, transparenteSpanish
  • محضPersian
  • pystysuora, seitinohut, silkka, ohut, puhdas, äkkijyrkkä, pelkkä, harsomainen, suoraFinnish
  • reinurFaroese
  • transparent, pur, verticalFrench
  • croghManx
  • निराHindi
  • teljes, puszta, áttetsző, könnyű, merő, vékonyHungarian
  • puroItalian
  • טָהוֹרHebrew
  • 透明, 純粋Japanese
  • abruptumLatin
  • moteMāori
  • gjennomskinnelig, bratt, rett, ren, vertikal, ublandetNorwegian
  • recht, puur, klinkklaar, klaar, steil, flinterdunDutch
  • rein, ublandaNorwegian Nynorsk
  • czysty, urwisty, przezroczystyPolish
  • pura, fino, direto, puroPortuguese
  • sadeaRomanian
  • отвесно, настоя́щий, отве́сный, прозра́чный, вертика́льный, чи́стый, су́щийRussian
  • прозиран, proziranSerbo-Croatian
  • priesvitný, číry, čistýSlovak
  • சுத்தTamil
  • ince, safTurkish

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    flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
    • A. abase
    • B. denudate
    • C. scarper
    • D. transpire

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