from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To swerve or cause to swerve from a course.
- n. A swerving or deviating course.
- n. Nautical The upward curve or amount of upward curve of the longitudinal lines of a ship's hull as viewed from the side.
- n. Nautical The position in which a ship at anchor is maintained in order to keep it clear of the anchor.
- adj. Thin, fine, and transparent: sheer curtains; sheer chiffon. See Synonyms at airy.
- adj. Completely such, without qualification or exception: sheer stupidity; sheer happiness.
- adj. Free from admixture or adulterants; unmixed: sheer alcohol. See Synonyms at pure.
- adj. Considered or operating apart from anything else: got the job through sheer persistence.
- adj. Almost perpendicular; steep: sheer rock cliffs. See Synonyms at steep1.
- adv. Almost perpendicularly.
- adv. Completely; altogether.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Very thin or transparent.
- adj. Pure; unmixed; being only what it seems to be.
- adj. Very steep; almost vertical or perpendicular.
- adj. Used to emphasize the amount or degree of something.
- adv. clean; quite; at once.
- n. The curve of the main deck or gunwale from bow to stern.
- n. An abrupt swerve from the course of a ship.
- v. To swerve from a course.
- v. To shear.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed.
- adj. Very thin or transparent; -- applied to fabrics.
- adj. Being only what it seems to be; obvious; simple; mere; downright.
- adj. Stright up and down; vertical; prpendicular.
- adv. Clean; quite; at once.
- transitive v. To shear.
- intransitive v. To decline or deviate from the line of the proper course; to turn aside; to swerve.
- n. The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side.
- n. The position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it.
- n. A turn or change in a course.
- n. Shears See Shear.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pure; clear; bright; shining.
- Uncombined with anything else; simple; mere; bare; by itself.
- Absolute; utter; downright: as, sheer nonsense or ignorance; sheer waste; sheer stupidity.
- Straight up or straight down; perpendicular; precipitous; unobstructed: as, a sheer descent.
- Very thin and delicate; diaphanous: especially said of cambric or muslin.
- Quite; right; straight; clean.
- To make pure; clear; purify.
- An obsolete spelling of shear.
- Nautical, to swerve or deviate from a line or course; turn aside or away, as for the purpose of avoiding collision or other danger: as, to sheer off from a rock.
- n. The rise from a horizontal plane of the longitudinal lines of a ship as seen in looking along its side.
- n. The position in which a ship at single anchor is placed to keep her clear of the anchor.
- n. The paint-strake or sheer-strake of a vessel.
- n. A curving course or sweep; a deviation or divergence from a particular course.
- n. A light scaffold, usually with three inclined legs, on which miners stand in drilling to get above the drill-rod.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. so thin as to transmit light
- adj. very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front
- adv. directly
- adj. complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers
- v. cause to sheer
- adv. straight up or down without a break
- v. turn sharply; change direction abruptly
- adj. not mixed with extraneous elements
Probably partly from Low German scheren, to move to and fro (said of boats), and partly from Dutch scheren, to withdraw.
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, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse skírr ("pure, bright, clear"), cognate with Danish skær, German schier ("sheer"), Dutch schier ("almost"), Gothic 𐍃𐌺𐌴𐌹𐍂𐍃 (skeirs, "clear, lucid"). Outside Germanic, cognate to Albanian hirrë ("whey, serum"). (Wiktionary)