Sheer (?), a. [OE. shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. skrr; akin to skirr, AS. scir, OS. skiri, MHG. schir, G. schier, Dan. skr, Sw. skar, Goth. skeirs clear, and E. shine. &root;157. See Shine, v. i.]


Bright; clear; pure; unmixed.

"Sheer ale."


Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain.


Very thin or transparent; -- applied to fabrics; as, sheer muslin.


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.


Stright up and down; vertical; perpendicular.

A sheer precipice of a thousand feet.
J. D. Hooker.

It was at least
Nine roods of sheer ascent.


© Webster 1913.

Sheer, adv.

Clean; quite; at once.




© Webster 1913.

Sheer, v. t. [See Shear.]

To shear.




© Webster 1913.

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.


© Webster 1913.

Sheer, n.

1. Naut. (a)

The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side.


The position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it.


A turn or change in a course.

Give the canoe a sheer and get nearer to the shore.

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, ∨ 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.


© Webster 1913.