sheer

If people can see through your shirt, it's sheer. This can also mean something steep, like a cliff, or anything extreme, like sheer nerve.

This word has several meanings, but they're all extreme. A sheer (see-through) shirt is an extreme way to dress — climbing a sheer cliff is almost impossible. If your car sheers, it swerves sharply, and you might crash. Maybe you've met all these meanings in a single nightmare: When the sheer cloth blew over your face as you drove, you lost control and the car began to sheer, filling you with sheer terror as you went over the sheer cliff.

Primary Meanings of sheer

1.
adj
so thin as to transmit light
2.
adjvadv
very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front
turn sharply; change direction abruptly
directly
Full Definitions of sheer
1

adj so thin as to transmit light

sheer silk stockings”
Synonyms:
cobwebby, diaphanous, filmy, gauze-like, gauzy, gossamer, see-through, transparent, vaporous, vapourous
thin
of relatively small extent from one surface to the opposite or in cross section

adj complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers

“got the job through sheer persistence”
sheer stupidity”
Synonyms:
absolute, downright, out-and-out, rank, right-down
complete
having every necessary or normal part or component or step

adj not mixed with extraneous elements

sheer wine”
Synonyms:
plain, unmingled, unmixed
pure
free of extraneous elements of any kind
2

adj very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front

“a sheer descent of rock”
Synonyms:
bluff, bold
steep
having a sharp inclination

v turn sharply; change direction abruptly

Synonyms:
curve, cut, slew, slue, swerve, trend, veer
Types:
peel off
leave a formation
yaw
swerve off course momentarily
Type of:
turn
change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense

v cause to sheer

“She sheered her car around the obstacle”
Type of:
channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
direct the course; determine the direction of travelling

adv directly

“he fell sheer into the water”

adv straight up or down without a break

Synonyms:
perpendicularly

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