Definition of sheer adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ʃɪə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ʃɪr//
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straight up or down The cliffs rise sheer from the beach. The ground dropped sheer away at our feet. Word Originadverb Middle English (in the sense ‘exempt, cleared’): probably an alteration of dialect shire ‘pure, clear’, from the Germanic base of the verb shine. In the mid 16th cent. the word was used to describe clear, pure water.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sheer