gauzy vs sheer what difference

what is difference between gauzy and sheer



gauze +‎ -y


  • Rhymes: -ɔːzi


gauzy (comparative gauzier, superlative gauziest)

  1. Resembling gauze; light, thin, translucent.
    Synonym: gauzelike
  2. (figuratively) light; giving the effect of haze
  3. (figuratively) vague or elusive
  4. (figuratively) tinged with tenderness and warmth; dewy-eyed, romantic
    • 2003: Although the books are scored in different keys—Clinton’s generally attempts to be gauzy and warm, Blumenthal’s is edgy and cold—their underlying refrain is the same. — The New Yorker, 14 July 2003




  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʃɪə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ʃɪɹ/
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)
  • Homophone: shear

Etymology 1

From Middle English shere, scheere, schere, skere, from Old English sċǣre; merged with Middle English schyre, schire, shire, shir, from Old English sċīr (clear, bright; brilliant, gleaming, shining, splendid, resplendent; pure) and Middle English skyr, from Old Norse skírr (pure, bright, clear), both from Proto-Germanic *skīriz (pure, sheer) and *skairiz, from Proto-Indo-European *sḱēy- (luster, gloss, shadow).

Cognate with Danish skær, German schier (sheer), Dutch schier (almost), Gothic ???????????????????????? (skeirs, clear, lucid). Outside Germanic, cognate to Albanian hir (grace, beauty; goodwill).


sheer (comparative sheerer or more sheer, superlative sheerest or most sheer)

  1. (textiles) Very thin or transparent.
  2. (obsolete) Pure in composition; unmixed; unadulterated.
    • c. 1592, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, scene ii:
      If she say I am not fourteen pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lying’st knave in Christendom.
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, King Richard the Second, Act V, scene iii:
      Thou sheer, immaculate and silver fountain, / From when this stream through muddy passages / Hath held his current and defiled himself!
  3. (by extension) Downright; complete; pure.
    • 2012, July 15. Richard Williams in Guardian Unlimited, Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track
      Cycling’s complex etiquette contains an unwritten rule that riders in contention for a race win should not be penalised for sheer misfortune.
  4. Used to emphasize the amount or degree of something.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, “[4],” New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012):
      Perhaps as startling as the sheer toll was the devastation to some of the state’s well-known locales. Boardwalks along the beach in Seaside Heights, Belmar and other towns on the Jersey Shore were blown away. Amusement parks, arcades and restaurants all but vanished. Bridges to barrier islands buckled, preventing residents from even inspecting the damage to their property.
  5. Very steep; almost vertical or perpendicular.
  • (very thin or transparent): diaphanous, see-through, thin
  • (pure, unmixed): pure, undiluted
  • (downright, complete): downright, mere (obsolete), pure, unmitigated
  • (straight up and down): perpendicular, steep, vertical
Derived terms
  • sheerly
  • sheerness
  • sheer-to-waist


sheer (comparative more sheer, superlative most sheer)

  1. (archaic) Clean; quite; at once.


sheer (plural sheers)

  1. A sheer curtain or fabric.

Etymology 2

Perhaps from Dutch scheren (to move aside, skim); see also shear.


sheer (plural sheers)

  1. (nautical) The curve of the main deck or gunwale from bow to stern.
  2. (nautical) An abrupt swerve from the course of a ship.


sheer (third-person singular simple present sheers, present participle sheering, simple past and past participle sheered)

  1. (chiefly nautical) To swerve from a course.
  2. (obsolete) To shear.
    • So thick, our navy scarce could sheer their way

Further reading

  • sheer at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “sheer”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.



  • Esher, Herse, Rhees, Shere, heers, here’s, heres, herse



  • IPA(key): [ʃeːɾ]


sheer (plural sheerisho)

  1. lion


Sadaf Munshi (2015), “Word Lists”, in Burushaski Language Documentation Project[5].

Middle English



  1. Alternative form of shere

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