- 1 [attributive] Nothing other than; unmitigated (used for emphasis): she giggled with sheer delight it’s been sheer hard workMore example sentences
utter, complete, absolute, total, pure, perfect, downright, out-and-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, through and through, consummate, patent, surpassing, veritable, unqualified, unmitigated, unalloyed, unadulterated, unmixed; stark, rank; plain, simple, mereBritish • informal properAustralian/New Zealand • informal fair• archaic arrant• rare right-down
- Then began three months of hard work, and long nights mixed with sheer panic and pure delight that this project was becoming a reality.
- And that is how one man made a life for himself through hard work, sheer determination, and utter loyalty.
- He had risen in the ranks of the party by the sheer dint of his hard work and forthrightness.
- 2(Especially of a cliff or wall) perpendicular or nearly so: the sheer ice wallsMore example sentences
- Whereas the canyon's south side is terraced and textured, the north walls are sheer cliffs.
- That tour became the stuff of legends when the guide walked us out the other end and stopped before a sheer cliff wall.
- 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.
- 3(Of a fabric) very thin; diaphanous: sheer white silk chiffonMore example sentences
- The dress was white, with a sheer fabric over it.
- Bias-cut dresses in silk, satin and sheer fabrics fit the bill for affairs that require strap heels and heavy flirting.
- A sheer, a see-through or sheer fabric usually used as an inner drapery, gives a softening effect to window treatment.
adverbBack to top
- 1Perpendicularly: the ridge fell sheer, in steep cragsMore example sentences
- 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.
- 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.
nounBack to top
- A very fine or diaphanous fabric or article: I put up the new curtains and sheers she ditched her glossy sheers while pregnantMore example sentences
- 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.
- It really depends on the fabric content of the sheers.
- Create a valance with four fabrics that coordinate with a fabric shade or sheers.
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- The filibuster is one of those checks in which a majority cannot just sheerly force its will, even if they have a majority of votes in some cases.
- I did this sheerly for the sake of writerly discipline.
- On top of that, Baldwin was on the record as having said that his commitment to civil liberties for supposed reactionaries was sheerly instrumental, just a tool for advancing the cause of communism.
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- The airiness, the suspendedness, the drop are composed to create the sheerness of the exhilaration and the perfect certainty of the arc.
- I think they've cottoned onto the sheer, er, sheerness of her top.
- Digital analysis of clothing for skin display, tightness, and sheerness showed that the women described their own clothing in ways that are consistent with social clothing codes.
verb[no object, with adverbial]
- 1(Typically of a boat) swerve or change course quickly: the boat sheered off to beach further up the coastMore example sentences
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
nounBack to top
- A sudden deviation from a course, especially by a boat.More example sentences
- 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.
early 17th century: perhaps from Middle Low German scheren 'to shear'.
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 .
- The upward slope of a ship’s lines towards the bow and stern.More example sentences
- 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.
late 17th century: probably from the noun shear.