Sheer, adv. Clean; quite; at once. [Obs.] Milton.

Sheer, v. t. [See Shear.] To shear. [Obs.] Dryden.

Sheer, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Sheered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sheering.] [D. 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, n. 1. (Naut.) (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.

3. pl. 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 (Naut.), 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 (Naut.), to deviate from sheer, and risk fouling the anchor.

Sheer (?), a. [OE. shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. sk?rr; akin to skīrr, AS. scīr, OS. skīri, MHG. schīr, G. schier, Dan. sk?r, Sw. skär, Goth. skeirs clear, and E. shine. √157. See Shine, v. i.] 1. Bright; clear; pure; unmixed. "Sheer ale." Shak.

Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain.

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.