Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
intr. & tr.v. sheered, sheer·ing, sheers
To swerve or cause to swerve from a course.
1. A swerving or deviating course.
a. The upward curve or amount of upward curve of the longitudinal lines of a ship's hull as viewed from the side.
b. The position in which a ship at anchor is maintained in order to keep it clear of the anchor.
[Probably partly from Low German scheren, to move to and fro (said of boats), and partly from Dutch scheren, to withdraw; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]
adj. sheer·er, sheer·est
1. Thin, fine, and translucent: sheer curtains; sheer chiffon. See Synonyms at airy.
a. Completely such, without qualification or exception: sheer stupidity; sheer happiness.
b. Free from admixture or adulterants; unmixed: sheer alcohol.
c. Considered or operating apart from anything else: got the job through sheer persistence.
3. Almost perpendicular; steep: sheer rock cliffs. See Synonyms at steep1.
1. Almost perpendicularly.
2. Completely; altogether.
One that is sheer, such as a curtain.
[Obsolete shere, thin, clear, partly from Middle English shir, bright, clear (from Old English scīr) and partly from Middle English skir, bright, clean (from Old Norse skærr).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.