“Shear” vs. “Sheer”: What’s the Difference?
Jun 8, 2023
The difference between “shear” and “sheer”
The main difference between shear and sheer is that shear refers to cutting, slicing, or a type of stress, while sheer refers to transparency, steepness, or exaggeration.
Shear is often used in a physical sense, while sheer is more often used in a figurative sense.
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What is the definition of “shear” and “sheer”?
When referring to something physical, shear means to cut or slice with force.
The term shear can also be used in reference to the act of removing the fleece or wool from a sheep.
Sheer means absolute or pure, as in something that is transparent or without obstruction.
It can also mean steep or abrupt, as in the sheer face of a cliff.
Another use of sheer is to describe something as exaggerated or over-the-top, as in a sheer absurdity.
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The barber will shear my hair today.
The sheep farmer has to shear his flock every spring.
The rough waves shear away at the cliff face.
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The sheer cliffs made for a breathtaking view.
The sheer amount of work overwhelmed him.
The dress was made of sheer fabric and was see-through.
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