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sheer Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    swerve; cut; veer; trend; curve; slew; slue.
    • The car cut to the left at the intersection
    • The motorbike veered to the right
  2. verb cause to sheer
    • She sheered her car around the obstacle
  3. adjective satellite complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers
    rank; right-down; downright; out-and-out; absolute.
    • 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
  4. adjective satellite not mixed with extraneous elements
    plain; unmingled; unmixed.
    • plain water
    • sheer wine
    • not an unmixed blessing
  5. adjective satellite very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front
    bold; bluff.
    • a bluff headland
    • where the bold chalk cliffs of England rise
    • a sheer descent of rock
  6. adjective satellite so thin as to transmit light
    gauze-like; vaporous; see-through; gossamer; cobwebby; vapourous; filmy; diaphanous; transparent; gauzy.
    • 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
  7. adverb straight up or down without a break
  8. adverb directly
    • he fell sheer into the water

Sheer adjective
OE. shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. skrr; akin to skirr, AS. scir, OS. skiri, MHG. schir, G. schier, Dan. skr, Sw. skär, Goth. skeirs clear, and E. shine. See Shine, v. i.
  1. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed. "Sheer ale." Shak.
    Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain. Shak.
  2. Very thin or transparent; -- applied to fabrics; as, sheer muslin.
  3. Being only what it seems to be; obvious; simple; mere; downright; as, sheer folly; sheer nonsense. "A sheer impossibility." De Quincey.
    It is not a sheer advantage to have several strings to one's bow. M. Arnold.
  4. Stright up and down; vertical; prpendicular.
    A sheer precipice of a thousand feet. J. D. Hooker.
    It was at least Nine roods of sheer ascent. Wordsworth.
Sheer adverb
  1. Clean; quite; at once. Obs. Milton.
Sheer transitive verb
See Shear.
  1. To shear. Obs. Dryden.
Sheer intransitive verb
D. sheren to shear, cut, withdraw, warp. See Shear.
imperfect & past participle Sheered ; present participle & verbal noun Sheering
  1. 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.
Sheer noun
  1. (Naut.) (a) The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side. (b) The position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it.
  2. A turn or change in a course.
    Give the canoe a sheer and get nearer to the shore. Cooper.
  3. pl. Shears See Shear.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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