Definition of sheep noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ʃiːp//
; NAmE NAmE//ʃiːp//
(pl. sheep) Farm animals, Domesticated mammals
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  • an animal with a thick coat, kept on farms for its meat (called mutton or lamb ) or its wool a flock of sheep Sheep were grazing in the fields. compare ewe, lamb, ram see also black sheep See related entries: Farm animals, Domesticated mammals
  • Word OriginOld English scēp, scǣp, scēap, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaap and German Schaf.Extra examples He sees it as his duty to take care of the lost sheep of the world. It’s nearly the sheep’s lambing time. My grandfather used to raise sheep in Australia. The dogs herded the sheep into the pen. There were a lot of sheep grazing high up on the mountain. a 4 000-acre sheep station in New South Wales the doleful cries of lost sheepIdioms to imagine that sheep are jumping over a fence and to count them, as a way of getting to sleep (disapproving) if people behave like sheep, they all do what the others are doing, without thinking for themselves See related entries: Farm animals
    (you, etc.) may/might as well be hanged/hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb
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    (saying) if you are going to be punished for doing something wrong, whether it is a big or small thing, you may as well do the big thing
    sort out/separate the sheep from the goats
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    to distinguish people who are good at something, intelligent, etc. from those who are not See related entries: Farm animals
    a wolf in sheep’s clothing
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    a person who seems to be friendly or harmless but is really an enemy
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sheep