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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, adv. Clean; quite; at once. [Obs.] --Milton.
Sheer Sheer, v. t. [See Shear.] To shear. [Obs.] --Dryden.
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
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