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sheer 1

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.]

sheer 2

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).]

sheer′ly adv.
sheer′ness n.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
The pit dropped sheerly from my feet, but a little way along the rubbish afforded a prac- ticable slope to the summit of the ruins.
Nay, you MUST not go--it is impossible, it is sheerly, it is utterly, impossible.
But so sheerly non- alcoholic was I that it never entered my mind that a drink might be good for me.
It was sheerly automatic, and his visioning was an unfailing accompaniment to the living present.
Withal, she was sheerly feminine, tender and soft and clinging, with the smouldering passion of the mate and the motherliness of the woman.
That most exact and convincing of all sciences, mathematics, is sheerly metaphysical.
machinery is to be used while the code of conduct issued by election commission of Pakistan is violated sheerly as parliamentarians of PML (N) were holding not only public meetings but they were confessing door to door in favour of ruling party candidate.
You are so sheerly (sic) sincere that your work is as near Absolute Art as one can find.
Those trends are leading many retailers to look to the systems sheerly for labor replacement.
Steve Jobs) This is sheerly wonderful, and inspirational, and in my capacity as one of the patrons of the Society for Storytelling, I'm urging them to fly it from their flag.
And James is fantasizing "an escape from the world of the public into the world of literature," something that is sheerly, as he knows, impossible (151).
The "Hitchcockian Error does not happen purely 'on purpose,'" he writes, "nor does it happen sheerly 'by accident,' independent of all design; it happens, as children like to say, accidentally on purpose.