SHEER, a. 1. Pure; clear; separate from anything foreign; unmingled; as sheer ale. But this application is unusual. We saysheer argument, sheer wit, sheer falsehook, etc. 2. Clear; thin; as sheer muslin. SHEER, adv. Clean; quite; at once. Obs. SHEER, v.t. To sheer. [Not in use.] SHEER, v.i. [See Shear, the sense of which is to separate.] 1. In seamen's language, to decline or deviate from the line of the proper course, as a ship when not steered with steadiness. 2. To slip or move aside. To sheer off, to turn or move aside to a distance. To sheer up, to turn and approach to a place or ship. SHEER, n. 1. The longitudinal curve or bend of a ship's deck or sides. 2. The position in which a ship is sometimes kept at single anchor, to keep her clear of it. To break sheer, to deviate from that position and fisk fouling the anchor.
adj 1: 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" [syn: absolute, downright, out-and-out, rank, right-down, sheer] 2: not mixed with extraneous elements; "plain water"; "sheer wine"; "not an unmixed blessing" [syn: plain, sheer, unmingled, unmixed] 3: 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" [syn: bluff, bold, sheer] 4: 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" [syn: diaphanous, filmy, gauzy, gauze-like, gossamer, see-through, sheer, transparent, vaporous, vapourous, cobwebby] v 1: turn sharply; change direction abruptly; "The car cut to the left at the intersection"; "The motorbike veered to the right" [syn: swerve, sheer, curve, trend, veer, slue, slew, cut] 2: cause to sheer; "She sheered her car around the obstacle" adv 1: straight up or down without a break [syn: sheer, perpendicularly] 2: directly; "he fell sheer into the water"
I. verbEtymology: perhaps alteration of 1shearDate: 1539 intransitive verb to deviate from a course ;swervetransitive verb to cause to sheer II. nounDate: 1670 1. a turn, deviation, or change in a course (as of a ship) 2. the position of a ship riding to a single anchor and heading toward it III. adjectiveEtymology: Middle English schere freed from guilt, probably alteration of skere, from Old Norse skærr pure; akin to Old English sc?nan to shine Date: circa 1568 1.obsoletebright, shining2. of very thin or transparent texture ;diaphanous3.a.unqualified, utter<sheer folly> <sheer ignorance> b. being free from an adulterant ;pure, unmixed c. viewed or acting in dissociation from all else <in terms of sheer numbers> 4. marked by great and continuous steepness Synonyms:seesteep • sheerlyadverb • sheernessnounIV. adverbDate: 1599 1. in a complete manner ;altogether2. straight up or down without a break ; perpendicularly V. nounDate: circa 1920 a sheer fabric; also an article of such a fabric VI. nounEtymology: perhaps alteration of 2shearDate: 1691 the fore-and-aft curvature from bow to stern of a ship's deck as shown in side elevation
1. adj. & adv. --adj. 1 no more or less than; mere, unqualified, absolute (sheer luck; sheer determination). 2 (of a cliff or ascent etc.) perpendicular; very steep. 3 (of a textile) very thin; diaphanous. --adv. 1 directly, outright. 2 perpendicularly. Derivatives: sheerly adv. sheerness n. Etymology: ME schere prob. f. dial. shire pure, clear f. OE scir f. Gmc 2. v. & n. --v.intr. 1 esp. Naut. swerve or change course. 2 (foll. by away, off) go away, esp. from a person or topic one dislikes or fears. --n. Naut. a deviation from a course. Etymology: perh. f. MLG scheren = SHEAR v. 3. n. the upward slope of a ship's lines towards the bow and stern. Etymology: prob. f. SHEAR n.
Sheer Sheer, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Sheered; p. pr. & vb. n. Sheering.] [D. sheren to shear, cut, withdraw, warp. See Shear.] 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. To sheer off, to turn or move aside to a distance; to move away. To sheer up, to approach obliquely.
Sheer Sheer, n. 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. Sheer batten (Shipbuilding), a long strip of wood to guide the carpenters in following the sheer plan. Sheer boom, a boom slanting across a stream to direct floating logs to one side. Sheer hulk. See Shear hulk, under Hulk. Sheer plan, or Sheer draught (Shipbuilding), a projection of the lines of a vessel on a vertical longitudinal plane passing through the middle line of the vessel. Sheer pole (Naut.), an iron rod lashed to the shrouds just above the dead-eyes and parallel to the ratlines. Sheer strake (Shipbuilding), the strake under the gunwale on the top side. --Totten. To break sheer (Naut.), to deviate from sheer, and risk fouling the anchor.
Sheer Sheer, a. [OE. shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. sk?rr; akin to sk[=i]rr, AS. sc[=i]r, OS. sk[=i]ri, MHG. sch[=i]r, G. schier, Dan. sk?r, Sw. sk["a]r, Goth. skeirs clear, and E. shine. [root]157. 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.
(sheerer, sheerest) 1. You can use sheer to emphasize that a state or situation is complete and does not involve or is not mixed with anything else. His music is sheer delight...Sheer chance quite often plays an important part in sparking off an idea.= pure ADJ: ADJ n [emphasis] 2. A sheer cliff or drop is extremely steep or completely vertical. There was a sheer drop just outside my window...ADJ: usu ADJ n 3. Sheer material is very thin, light, and delicate. ...sheer black tights.ADJ