verb[no object, with adverbial]
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.