Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Sheeny adjective Bright; shining; radiant; sheen. "A sheeny summer morn." Tennyson.

Sheep noun sing. & plural [ Middle English shep , scheep , Anglo-Saxon sc...p , sceáp ; akin to OFries. sk...p , LG. & Dutch schaap , German schaf , Old High German scāf , Sanskrit chāga . √295. Confer Sheepherd .]
1. (Zoology) Any one of several species of ruminants of the genus Ovis , native of the higher mountains of both hemispheres, but most numerous in Asia.

» The domestic sheep ( Ovis aries ) varies much in size, in the length and texture of its wool, the form and size of its horns, the length of its tail, etc. It was domesticated in prehistoric ages, and many distinct breeds have been produced; as the merinos, celebrated for their fine wool; the Cretan sheep, noted for their long horns; the fat-tailed, or Turkish, sheep, remarkable for the size and fatness of the tail, which often has to be supported on trucks; the Southdowns, in which the horns are lacking; and an Asiatic breed which always has four horns.

2. A weak, bashful, silly fellow. Ainsworth.

3. plural Fig.: The people of God, as being under the government and protection of Christ, the great Shepherd.

Rocky mountain sheep . (Zoology) See Bighorn . -- Maned sheep . (Zoology) See Aoudad . -- Sheep bot (Zoology) , the larva of the sheep botfly. See Estrus . -- Sheep dog (Zoology) , a shepherd dog, or collie. -- Sheep laurel (Botany) , a small North American shrub ( Kalmia angustifolia ) with deep rose-colored flowers in corymbs. -- Sheep pest (Botany) , an Australian plant ( Acæna ovina ) related to the burnet. The fruit is covered with barbed spines, by which it adheres to the wool of sheep. -- Sheep run , an extensive tract of country where sheep range and graze. -- Sheep's beard (Botany) , a cichoraceous herb ( Urospermum Dalechampii ) of Southern Europe; -- so called from the conspicuous pappus of the achenes. -- Sheep's bit (Botany) , a European herb ( Jasione montana ) having much the appearance of scabious. -- Sheep pox (Medicine) , a contagious disease of sheep, characterixed by the development of vesicles or pocks upon the skin. -- Sheep scabious . (Botany) Same as Sheep's bit . -- Sheep shears , shears in which the blades form the two ends of a steel bow, by the elasticity of which they open as often as pressed together by the hand in cutting; -- so called because used to cut off the wool of sheep. -- Sheep sorrel . (Botany) , a prerennial herb ( Rumex Acetosella ) growing naturally on poor, dry, gravelly soil. Its leaves have a pleasant acid taste like sorrel. -- Sheep's-wool (Zoology) , the highest grade of Florida commercial sponges ( Spongia equina , variety gossypina ). -- Sheep tick (Zoology) , a wingless parasitic insect ( Melophagus ovinus ) belonging to the Diptera. It fixes its proboscis in the skin of the sheep and sucks the blood, leaving a swelling. Called also sheep pest , and sheep louse . -- Sheep walk , a pasture for sheep; a sheep run. -- Wild sheep . (Zoology) See Argali , Mouflon , and Oörial .

Sheep-faced adjective Over-bashful; sheepish.

Sheep-headed adjective Silly; simple-minded; stupid. Taylor (1630)

Sheep-shearer noun One who shears, or cuts off the wool from, sheep.

Sheep-shearing noun
1. Act of shearing sheep.

2. A feast at the time of sheep- shearing. Shak.

Sheep's-eye noun A modest, diffident look; a loving glance; -- commonly in the plural.

I saw her just now give him the languishing eye, as they call it; . . . of old called the sheep's-eye .
Wycherley.

Sheep's-foot noun A printer's tool consisting of a metal bar formed into a hammer head at one end and a claw at the other, -- used as a lever and hammer.

Sheepback noun (Geol.) A rounded knoll of rock resembling the back of a sheep. -- produced by glacial action. Called also roche moutonnée ; -- usually in the plural.

Sheepberry noun (Botany) The edible fruit of a small North American tree of the genus Viburnum ( V. Lentago ), having white flowers in flat cymes; also, the tree itself. Called also nannyberry .

Sheepbite intransitive verb To bite or nibble like a sheep; hence, to practice petty thefts. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Sheepbiter noun One who practices petty thefts. [ Obsolete] Shak.

There are political sheepbiters as well as pastoral; betrayers of public trusts as well as of private.
L'Estrange.

Sheepcot, Sheepcote noun A small inclosure for sheep; a pen; a fold.

Sheepfold noun A fold or pen for sheep; a place where sheep are collected or confined.

Sheephook noun A hook fastened to pole, by which shepherds lay hold on the legs or necks of their sheep; a shepherd's crook. Dryden.

Sheepish adjective
1. Of or pertaining to sheep. [ Obsolete]

2. Like a sheep; bashful; over-modest; meanly or foolishly diffident; timorous to excess.

Wanting change of company, he will, when he comes abroad, be a sheepish or conceited creature.
Locke.

-- Sheep"ish*ly , adverb -- Sheep"ish*ness , noun

Sheepmaster noun A keeper or feeder of sheep; also, an owner of sheep. 2 Kings iii. 4.

Sheeprack noun (Zoology) The starling.

Sheepshank noun (Nautical) A hitch by which a rope may be temporarily shortened.

Sheepshead noun [ So called because of the fancied resemblance of its head and front teeth to those of a sheep.] (Zoology) A large and valuable sparoid food fish ( Archosargus, or Diplodus, probatocephalus ) found on the Atlantic coast of the United States. It often weighs from ten to twelve pounds.

» The name is also locally, in a loose way, applied to various other fishes, as the butterfish, the fresh-water drumfish, the parrot fish, the porgy, and the moonfish.

Sheepskin noun
1. The skin of a sheep; or, leather prepared from it.

2. A diploma; -- so called because usually written or printed on parchment prepared from the skin of the sheep. [ College Cant]

Sheepsplit noun A split of a sheepskin; one of the thin sections made by splitting a sheepskin with a cutting knife or machine.

Sheepy adjective Resembling sheep; sheepish. Testament of Love.

Sheer adjective [ Middle English shere , skere , pure, bright, Icelandic sk...rr ; akin to skīrr , Anglo-Saxon scīr , Old Saxon skīri , Middle High German schīr , German schier , Danish sk...r , Swedish skär , Goth. skeirs clear, and English shine . √157. See Shine , intransitive verb ]
1. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed. " Sheer ale." Shak.

Thou sheer , immaculate, and silver fountain.
Shak.

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

3. 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.

4. Stright up and down; vertical; prpendicular.

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

It was at least
Nine roods of sheer ascent.
Wordsworth.

Sheer adverb Clean; quite; at once. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Sheer transitive verb [ See Shear .] To shear. [ Obsolete] Dryden.

Sheer intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Sheered ; present participle & verbal noun Sheering .] [ Dutch 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.

Sheer noun
1. (Nautical) (a) The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side. (b) The position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it.

2. A turn or change in a course.

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

3. plural 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 , or 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 (Nautical) , 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 (Nautical) , to deviate from sheer, and risk fouling the anchor.

Sheerly adverb At once; absolutely. [ Obsolete]

Sheerwater noun (Zoology) The shearwater.

Sheet noun [ Middle English shete , schete , Anglo-Saxon scēte , scȳte , from sceát a projecting corner, a fold in a garment (akin to Dutch schoot sheet, bosom, lap, German schoss bosom, lap, flap of a coat, Icelandic skaut , Goth. skauts the hem of a garment); originally, that which shoots out, from the root of Anglo-Saxon sceótan to shoot. √159. See Shoot , transitive verb ] In general, a large, broad piece of anything thin, as paper, cloth, etc.; a broad, thin portion of any substance; an expanded superficies. Specifically: (a) A broad piece of cloth, usually linen or cotton, used for wrapping the body or for a covering; especially, one used as an article of bedding next to the body.

He fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners.
Acts x. 10, 11.

If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets .
Shak.

(b) A broad piece of paper, whether folded or unfolded, whether blank or written or printed upon; hence, a letter; a newspaper, etc. (c) A single signature of a book or a pamphlet; in plural , the book itself.

To this the following sheets are intended for a full and distinct answer.
Waterland.

(d) A broad, thinly expanded portion of metal or other substance; as, a sheet of copper, of glass, or the like; a plate; a leaf. (e) A broad expanse of water, or the like. "The two beautiful sheets of water." Macaulay. (f) A sail. Dryden. (g) (Geol.) An extensive bed of an eruptive rock intruded between, or overlying, other strata.

2. [ Anglo-Saxon sceáta . See the Etymology above.] (Nautical) (a) A rope or chain which regulates the angle of adjustment of a sail in relation in relation to the wind; -- usually attached to the lower corner of a sail, or to a yard or a boom. (b) plural The space in the forward or the after part of a boat where there are no rowers; as, fore sheets ; stern sheets .

» Sheet is often used adjectively, or in combination, to denote that the substance to the name of which it is prefixed is in the form of sheets, or thin plates or leaves; as, sheet brass, or sheet -brass; sheet glass, or sheet -glass; sheet gold, or sheet -gold; sheet iron, or sheet - iron, etc.

A sheet in the wind , half drunk. [ Sailors' Slang] -- Both sheets in the wind , very drunk. [ Sailors' Slang] -- In sheets , lying flat or expanded; not folded, or folded but not bound; -- said especially of printed sheets. -- Sheet bend (Nautical) , a bend or hitch used for temporarily fastening a rope to the bight of another rope or to an eye. -- Sheet lightning , Sheet piling , etc. See under Lightning , Piling , etc.

Sheet transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Sheeted ; present participle & verbal noun Sheeting .]
1. To furnish with a sheet or sheets; to wrap in, or cover with, a sheet, or as with a sheet. "The sheeted dead." "When snow the pasture sheets ." Shak.

2. To expand, as a sheet.

The star shot flew from the welkin blue,
As it fell from the sheeted sky.
J. R. Drake.

To sheet home (Nautical) , to haul upon a sheet until the sail is as flat, and the clew as near the wind, as possible.

Sheet anchor [ Middle English scheten to shoot, Anglo-Saxon sceótan ; confer Middle English shoot anchor . See Shoot , transitive verb ]
1. (Nautical) A large anchor stowed on shores outside the waist of a vessel; -- called also waist anchor . See the Note under Anchor .

2. Anything regarded as a sure support or dependence in danger; the best hope or refuge.

Sheet cable (Nautical) The cable belonging to the sheet anchor.

Sheet chain (Nautical) A chain sheet cable.

Sheetful noun ; plural Sheetfuls Enough to fill a sheet; as much as a sheet can hold.

Sheeting noun
1. Cotton or linen cloth suitable for bed sheets. It is sometimes made of double width.

2. (Hydraul. Engin.) A lining of planks or boards (rarely of metal) for protecting an embankment.

3. The act or process of forming into sheets, or flat pieces; also, material made into sheets.

Sheik noun [ Arabic sheikh , shaykh , a venerable old man, a chief, from shākha to grow or be old.] The head of an Arab family, or of a clan or a tribe; also, the chief magistrate of an Arab village. The name is also applied to Mohammedan ecclesiastics of a high grade. [ Written also scheik , shaik , sheikh .]

Sheil (shēl), Sheil"ing noun See Sheeling .

Shekel noun [ Hebrew shegel , from shāgal to weigh.]
1. An ancient weight and coin used by the Jews and by other nations of the same stock.

» A common estimate makes the shekel equal in weight to about 130 grains for gold, 224 grains for silver, and 450 grains for copper, and the approximate values of the coins are (gold) $5.00, (silver) 60 cents, and (copper half shekel), one and one half cents.

2. plural A jocose term for money .

Shekinah noun [ Heb Talmud shekīnāh , from shākan to inhabit.] The visible majesty of the Divine Presence, especially when resting or dwelling between the cherubim on the mercy seat, in the Tabernacle, or in the Temple of Solomon; -- a term used in the Targums and by the later Jews, and adopted by Christians. [ Written also Shechinah .] Dr. W. Smith (Bib. Dict.)

Sheld adjective [ Middle English , from sheld a shield, probably in allusion to the ornamentation of shields. See Shield .] Variegated; spotted; speckled; piebald. [ Prov. Eng.]

Sheldafle, Sheldaple noun [ Perhaps for sheld dapple . Confer Sheldrake .] (Zoology) A chaffinch. [ Written also sheldapple , and shellapple .]

Sheldfowl noun (Zoology) The common sheldrake. [ Prov. Eng.]

Sheldrake noun [ Sheld + drake .]
1. (Zoology) Any one of several species of large Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna and allied genera, especially the European and Asiatic species. ( T. cornuta, or tadorna ), which somewhat resembles a goose in form and habit, but breeds in burrows.

» It has the head and neck greenish black, the breast, sides, and forward part of the back brown, the shoulders and middle of belly black, the speculum green, and the bill and frontal bright red. Called also shelduck , shellduck , sheldfowl , skeelduck , bergander , burrow duck , and links goose .

» The Australian sheldrake ( Tadorna radja ) has the head, neck, breast, flanks, and wing coverts white, the upper part of the back and a band on the breast deep chestnut, and the back and tail black. The chestnut sheldrake of Australia ( Casarca tadornoides ) is varied with black and chestnut, and has a dark green head and neck. The ruddy sheldrake, or Braminy duck ( C. rutila ), and the white-winged sheldrake ( C. leucoptera ), are related Asiatic species.

2. Any one of the American mergansers.

» The name is also loosely applied to other ducks, as the canvasback, and the shoveler.

Shelduck noun [ Sheld variegated + duck .] (Zoology) The sheldrake. [ Written also shellduck .]

Shelf noun ; plural Shelves . [ Middle English shelfe , schelfe , Anglo-Saxon scylfe ; akin to German schelfe , Icelandic skjālf . In senses 2 & 3, perhaps a different word (cf. Shelve , intransitive verb ).]
1. (Architecture) A flat tablet or ledge of any material set horizontally at a distance from the floor, to hold objects of use or ornament.

2. A sand bank in the sea, or a rock, or ledge of rocks, rendering the water shallow, and dangerous to ships.

On the tawny sands and shelves .
Milton.

On the secret shelves with fury cast.
Dryden.

3. (Mining) A stratum lying in a very even manner; a flat, projecting layer of rock.

4. (Nautical) A piece of timber running the whole length of a vessel inside the timberheads. D. Kemp.

To lay on the shelf , to lay aside as unnecessary or useless; to dismiss; to discard.

Shelfy adjective
1. Abounding in shelves; full of dangerous shallows. "A shelfy coast." Dryden.

2. Full of strata of rock. [ Obsolete]

The tillable fields are in some places . . . so shelfy that the corn hath much ado to fasten its root.
Carew.