sheer Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sheer” in the English Dictionary

"sheer" in British English

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sheeradjective

uk   /ʃɪər/  us   /ʃɪr/
  • sheer adjective (COMPLETE)

C1 [before noun] used to ​emphasize how very ​great, ​important, or ​powerful a ​quality or ​feeling is; nothing except: The ​suggestion is sheer nonsense. His ​success was ​due to sheer ​willpower/​determination. It was sheer ​coincidence that we ​met.

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  • sheer adjective (STEEP)

C2 extremelysteep; ​almostvertical: a sheer ​mountainside a sheer ​drop of 100 ​metres
  • sheer adjective (THIN)

Sheer ​clothing or ​material is so ​thin, ​light, and ​delicate that you can ​see through it: sheer ​nylontights She ​wore a ​dress of the sheerest ​silk.

sheerverb [I usually + adv/prep]

uk   /ʃɪər/  us   /ʃɪr/
(Definition of sheer from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sheer" in American English

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sheeradjective

 us   /ʃɪr/
  • sheer adjective (COMPLETE)

[not gradable] not ​mixed with anything ​else; ​pure or ​complete: Some of those ​books are sheer ​magic.
  • sheer adjective (EXTREME)

[not gradable] (of ​size or ​weight) very ​large: The sheer ​size of the ​engine makes it ​difficult to ​transport.
  • sheer adjective (STEEP)

risingalmoststraight up or down; very ​steep: She ​hauled herself up the sheer ​slope of the ​mountain.
(Definition of sheer from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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