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Sheer   /ʃɪr/   Listen
Sheer

verb
(past & past part. sheered; pres. part. sheering)
1.
Turn sharply; change direction abruptly.  Synonyms: curve, cut, slew, slue, swerve, trend, veer.  "The motorbike veered to the right"
2.
Cause to sheer.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sheer" Quotes from Famous Books



... from shore to shore and the drop is sheer. With much excitement, the bowsman points out the channel that seems to him the safe one. No one speaks, and the big awkward craft is brought up for the jump. It is an elephant drawing his feet together to take a water-fence. For all we own in the world we wouldn't ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... same celebrated tyrant. He also gave them many cruel beatings, cudgellings, blows and other kinds of cruelty every day and every hour. 16. It is told of him that he destroyed and burnt eight hundred towns in that kingdom of Xalisco: he goaded the Indians to rebellion out of sheer desperation, and after they saw such numbers perish so cruelly, they killed some Spaniards, in which they were perfectly justified, and then retreated to the mountains. 17. Afterwards, the injustice and oppression of other recent tyrants who passed that way to destroy ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... Lee stood there. The channel wind caught her and tore at her skirts until she was almost frozen. And finally, in sheer desperation, she worked her way round to the other side. She saw no one. Save for the beating heart of the engine below it might have ...
— The Amazing Interlude • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... caricature, that rather, it may be said, many of his traits are almost too nice and delicate for the stage, that they can only be made available by a great actor, and fully understood by an acute audience. Not only has he delineated many kinds of folly, but even of sheer stupidity has he contrived to give a most diverting and entertaining picture. There is also in his pieces a peculiar species of the farcical, which apparently seems to be introduced more arbitrarily, but which, however, is founded on imitation ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... kind we can only say to ourselves that it is a sheer impossibility to construct for the Art of War a theory which, like a scaffolding, shall ensure to the chief actor an external support on all sides. In all those cases in which he is thrown upon his talent he would find himself away from this scaffolding of theory and in opposition to it, and, ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... the arms so strong and well prepared to strike together, it must be admitted that in the whole exists a common feeling, a national will. Self-government may be wanting; it may have been suppressed by sheer force and kept under by the most unfavorable state of affairs, but the nation subsists and cannot fail ultimately ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... awkwardly turned over on to his left. "The fact is," he thought, "not one of all the women I have known could ever satisfy me for the whole of my life. Thus, what I have called true love is impossible, not to be realized; and to dream of such a thing is sheer folly." ...
— Sanine • Michael Artzibashef

... magnificent sight. From a dark red rock, fully two hundred feet in height, a great volume of water poured its roaring current into a boiling pool below. The cliffs shot up sheer on all sides and were covered at the bottom with luxuriant green growth like seaweed, while higher up, ferns, as big as rose-bushes at home, and trees of a hundred varieties clung wherever they could find a root-hold. As the party arrived ...
— The Boy Aviators in Africa • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... on which to stand, that topmost ledge of the amphitheatre, with no parapet and a sheer drop to the street below. Almost against his ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... flying up stairway after stairway, from gallery to gallery, hard pressed by her furious mistress. Soon she heard them rise into the belvedere and the next instant they darted out upon the roof. Down into its valleys and up over its ridges the little fugitive slid and scrambled. She reached the sheer edge, the lady at the window hid her face in her hands, there came a dull, jarring thud in the paved court beneath, and the lady, looking down, saw the child lifted from the ground and borne out of sight, limp, ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... very tender precious bit it is, more wondrous in its sheer simplicity than any of us seem to suspect. It is simply this: this Jesus is with us all the time. This same Jesus who was so swayed by the need of the crowd, who burned His life out day by day warmly responding to their sore ...
— Quiet Talks on John's Gospel • S. D. Gordon

... crowns the satire on the romanticists by making the very landlord of the Tabard cry out in indignant disgust against the stuff which he had heard recited — the good Host ascribing to sheer ignorance the string of pompous platitudes and prosaic details ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... that eventful year, Seeming to know in her clairvoyant way The bitterness of hunger and despair That lay upon the town. Out of the sheer Thin altitudes of day She drifted down Over the grim blockade At the harbor mouth, Trailing her beauty over the decay That war had made, Gilding old ruins with her jasmine spray, Distilling warm moist perfume From ...
— Carolina Chansons - Legends of the Low Country • DuBose Heyward and Hervey Allen

... trembling, and a creeping, chilling sensation running through his fingers. It was of finest fabric, sheer and soft and very simply embroidered. It was without, rather than with, surprise lie found the letters "F. F." in one corner. He raised it, and, not knowing what to say for the moment, sat there inhaling the delicate fragrance that hung ...
— 'Laramie;' - or, The Queen of Bedlam. • Charles King

... have Lady Beltham shadowed, but I do not mean to arrest her. You see, if I asked Fuselier for a warrant against Lady Beltham, a person legally dead and buried more than two months ago, that excellent functionary would swallow his clerk, stool and all, in sheer amazement." ...
— The Exploits of Juve - Being the Second of the Series of the "Fantmas" Detective Tales • mile Souvestre and Marcel Allain

... unblushingly afforded himself before audiences of fellow labourers who welcomed the jest and the excuse for stopping work. The achievement of the self-taught man remains wonderful, but, if he surmounts his difficulties at all, some of his limitations may turn to sheer advantage. There is some advantage merely in being driven to make the most of few books; great advantage in having one's choice restricted by circumstances to good books; great advantage too in the consciousness of untrained faculty which leaves a man capable in mature ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... it was out for a demonstration or whether it was out for a spree. Its motives in thus marching across the path of feminine emancipation were probably more complicated and confused than that alternative suggests, and sheer vanity abounded in the mixture. But undoubtedly that extremity is the vanishing extremity of these things. The new freewoman is going to be a grave and capable being, soberly dressed, and imposing her own decency and neutrality of behaviour upon the men she meets. And along the ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... in high places, is apt to fall back upon cruelty to supply false strength, and a government that found itself face to face with an entire country in arms, absolutely antagonistic to and defiant of its authority, may easily have felt itself driven by sheer despair into some such false and futile exhibitions of power. The chief sufferers by these statutes were not the inhabitants of the wilder districts, who, for the most part, escaped out of reach of its provisions, beyond that narrow area where the Dublin judges travelled their little ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... seemed that the castle was built upon a lonely crag, its heavy walls, which dated from feudal times, imbedded in the solid rock. From her bedroom window, below the buttressed stone, were precipitous cliffs which fell sheer and straight to the rocky bed of the stream which rushed through the ravine two hundred meters below. But there would be other modes of egress, and so, feeling that her strength was now equal to the task, she determined to go forth and test the cordon which constrained her. One ...
— The Secret Witness • George Gibbs

... message from Doctor Paul, and ask his opinion about speaking to Father Beckett. As for myself, I resolved not to make any confession, unless it were certain that Jim lived. And I'm not sure, Padre, whether that decision was based on sheer, selfish cowardice, or whether I founded it partly on the arguments I presented to myself. I said in my mind: "If it's true that everything you did in the beginning was for Brian's good, why undo it all at the most critical hour of his life, when perhaps there may never be any reason to speak?" Also ...
— Everyman's Land • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... well how you think about it. And if I did not know it and see it, where would be the invisible communion of our spirits and the beautiful magic of this communion? It certainly cannot occur to you to want to hold back still longer, and by sheer finesse to try to end the misunderstanding; for otherwise I should myself really have nothing ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... set at that. No place for men? Dangerous? He looked as if he might shin up the waterfall on the spot. But the guide would not hear of going up, even if there had been any possible method of scaling that sheer cliff, and we had to get back to our party ...
— Herland • Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman

... she was so happy as to be absolutely oblivious of such trifles, while the awkward youths fell entirely under the spell of her sparkling, fun-filled eyes and the merry, bubbling laugh that seemed to overflow from sheer joy. ...
— Lucile Triumphant • Elizabeth M. Duffield

... for such a fight as this, Edmund," he said when the Danes had taken to flight. "You will need another four or five years over your head before you can stand in battle against these fierce Northmen. They break down your guard by sheer weight; but you bore yourself gallantly, and I doubt not will yet be as famous a warrior ...
— The Dragon and the Raven - or, The Days of King Alfred • G. A. Henty

... are open to the above sordid accusation. In short, that those and such-like individuals who, on account of their private resources and mental capabilities, as well as the public influence resulting therefrom, are, by the sheer logic of circumstances, forced to be at the head of public movements, are actuated by a craving for the few hundred pounds a year for which there is such a scramble at Downing Street among the future official grandees of the West Indies! But granting that this allegation ...
— West Indian Fables by James Anthony Froude Explained by J. J. Thomas • J. J. (John Jacob) Thomas

... and patient research has to determine is whether matter demonstrably not living can be, without the aid of organisms already living, endowed with the properties of life. Judged of hastily, and apart from the facts, it may appear to some minds that an origin of life from not-life, by sheer physical law, would be a great philosophical gain, an indefinitely strong support of the doctrine of evolution. If this were so, and, indeed, so far as it is believed to be so, it would speak and does speak volumes in favor of the ...
— Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XIX, No. 470, Jan. 3, 1885 • Various

... no answer, To their challenge made no answer, Only rose, and, slowly turning, Seized the huge rock in his fingers, Tore it from its deep foundation, Poised it in the air a moment, Pitched it sheer into the river, Sheer into the swift Pauwating, Where it still ...
— The Elson Readers, Book 5 • William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

... remarkably clean and tidy; to be sure, it was Sunday. The whole day, till quite late in the afternoon, the house was surrounded by a crowd of our poor dependents, waiting to catch a glimpse of Mr. ——, myself, or the children; and until, from sheer weariness, I was obliged to shut the doors, an incessant stream poured in and out, whose various modes of salutation, greeting, and welcome were more grotesque and pathetic at the same time than anything you can imagine. ...
— Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation - 1838-1839 • Frances Anne Kemble

... quiet girl with smooth black hair and a serious, almost poignant expression. All her life had been one of poverty, a sheer struggle to keep the wolf from the door. She spoke no English, though ...
— Making Both Ends Meet • Sue Ainslie Clark and Edith Wyatt

... of fighting the liquor dealers, backed by the Democrats in the State and on the borders. They wearied of being taunted with the fact that they had not the power to enforce the law. Then in 1887 they gave municipal suffrage to women as a sheer party necessity. Just as much as it was a necessity of the Republicans in reconstruction days to enfranchise the negroes, so was it a political necessity in the State of Kansas to enfranchise the women, because they needed a new balance of power to help them elect ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... were wasted, because I could not hand them on to some other Englishman, whose education and training would have enabled him to make a better, a fuller use of them. Nor would it have been difficult for such a man to get the opportunities which were given to me when, by sheer persistence in enquiry, I had overcome the hostility which I at first encountered as the correspondent of a "bourgeois" newspaper. Such a man could be in Russia now, for the Communists do not regard war as we regard it. The ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... followed. If he had made the slightest attempt to force her to come, if he had betrayed the least uncertainty as to whether she would come, Hazel would have swung down from the saddle and set her face stubbornly southward in sheer defiance of him. But such is the peculiar complexity of a woman that she took one longing glance backward, and then fell in behind the packs. She was weighted down with dread of the unknown, boiling over with rage at the man ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... governed a colony well. Her whole record outre-mer was of a piece with the enslavement and extermination of the gentle Caribs, with which it began. In slavery and the slave trade Anglo-Saxon conquistadors shared Spain's dishonor, but in sheer ugliness of despotism, in wholesale, systematic, selfish exploiting, and in corrupt and clumsy administration the Iberian monarchy surpassed all other powers ever called to deal with colonies. The truth of this indictment was, if possible, more manifest ...
— History of the United States, Volume 5 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... to do. Mr. Hamlin had not yet come in. Yet she must find out what had happened to Ruth, Mollie and Grace. Bab once thought of starting out alone and on foot, back up the long country road, but she gave up the idea as sheer foolishness. ...
— The Automobile Girls At Washington • Laura Dent Crane

... between them—immensely. There was a heap of bad drawing in that picture. I remember I went out of my way to foreshorten for sheer delight of doing it, and I foreshortened damnably, but for all that it's the best thing I've ever done; and now I suppose the ship's broken up or gone down. Whew! What a ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... devitalizing subnourishment; combined with their own certainty that the Teutonic Powers would go on fighting, under the lash of Prussia, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of loyal German and Austrian boys, plunge countless more families into hopeless grief, doom all the children in the land to sheer hunger and tuberculosis. ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... from all pain and struggle.[1] For let a man live as long as he may, he is never conscious of any moment but the present, one and indivisible; and in those late years the mind loses more every day by sheer forgetfulness ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... missed both the joys and the demands of home life. No recluse, but, rather, a companionable man, he cared little for what most people call amusement, but he cared tremendously for the human scene in which he lived and worked. He would be happy in the Experiment for its sheer human fascinations. That it held a deeper interest, that if it succeeded it would reveal an untapped reservoir of resources available for the church and the kingdom of God, did but make him the more eager to be at it ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... sunset when Gerrard drew rein and looked up at the great fort of reddish brick towering above him. He was riding in the bed of the river Tindar, here more than a mile wide, and now dry save for one small channel. When the river was in flood, Adamkot must stand on its very brink, but at present its sheer cliff rose from an expanse of sand and mud. It occupied the point of a tongue of high land formed by the river and a ravine, also dry, and a deep ditch guarded it at the only side on which level ground approached the walls. He wondered whether ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... camp at an early hour, and moved bag, and baggage, to the place where "Alex Taylor" had shot the deer the preceding afternoon. Notwithstanding my sore feet and tired limbs, I took a load on my shoulders out of sheer shame, for without that I would have been the only one, old or young, biped or quadruped, without something, so I made a martyr of myself. Just after leaving the spot where "Alex" and I had cached the skins yesterday afternoon, "Sam" dropped his burden from his ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... other's blunders with gratification. Yet the worst historian has a clearer view of the period he studies than the best of us can hope to form of that in which we live. The obscurest epoch is to-day; and that for a thousand reasons of inchoate tendency, conflicting report, and sheer mass and multiplicity of experience; but chiefly, perhaps, by reason of an insidious shifting of landmarks. Parties and ideas continually move, but not by measurable marches on a stable course; the political soil itself steals forth by imperceptible degrees, like a travelling glacier, carrying ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... formed a line of battle; while the rest, under the protection of the six frigates, proceeded on their voyage with all the sail they could carry. The British squadron was likewise drawn up in line of battle; but Mr. Warren, perceiving that the enemy began to sheer off, now their convoy was at a considerable distance, advised admiral Anson to haul in the signal for the line, and hoist another for giving chase and engaging, otherwise the French would, in all probability, escape by favour ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... of which, although they had spoken in earnest, they were both somewhat conscious. "But I say, old fellow, without any more humbug about love and such like bosh, just look at the dear old craft! how beautifully she sits on the water— what a graceful sheer she has—and how well her sixteen guns look run out, like dogs from their kennels, all ready to bite. You should see her under weigh though, and how beautiful she looks with her canvas spread! You'd know her for a man-of-war twenty miles off by the cut of her royals. ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... of his half-sneering, half-humourous frankness. His liking for Grandcourt, even as a schoolboy, had invariably been tinged with tolerance and good-humoured contempt. Dysart had always led in everything; taken what he chose without considering Grandcourt—sometimes out of sheer perversity, he had taken what Grandcourt wanted—not really wanting it himself—as in the case of ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... to oppress is to gratify them all. They wanted the huzzas of mobs, and they have for ever blasted the fame of England to obtain them. Were the fleets of Holland, France, and Spain destroyed by larceny? You resisted the power of 150 sail of the line by sheer courage, and violated every principle of morals from the dread of fifteen hulks, while the expedition itself cost you three times more than the value of the larcenous matter brought away. The French trample on the laws of God and man, not ...
— Political Pamphlets • George Saintsbury

... a slow-smoking fire, in the littered ashes of a thousand fires, was an old man who blinked apathetically at the invaders. He was extremely old—so old that his withered skin hung about him in loose folds and did not look like skin. His hands were bony claws, his emaciated face a sheer death's-head. His task, it seemed, was to tend the fire, and while he blinked at them he added to it a handful of dead and mouldy wood. And hung in the smoke they found the object of their search. Joan turned and stumbled out hastily, deathly sick, reeling into ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... orderless flux. Philosophers as different as the Neo-Positivist Mach and the Intuitionist Bergson, do indeed attempt to construct systems composed solely of direct Experience and pure Intuition; and, at the same time, almost ceaselessly insist upon the sheer novelty, the utter unexpectedness of all direct Experience, and the entire artificiality of the constructions of Thought—constructions which alone adulterate our perceptions of reality with the non-realities repetition, ...
— Progress and History • Various

... the hand of Jarasandha. Such an act of virtue by thee, O son of Devaki, assisted by the might of Bhima and Arjuna, is most extraordinary. O Vishnu, languishing as we all were in the terrible hill-fort of Jarasandha, it was verily from sheer good fortune alone that thou hast rescued us, O son of the Yadu race, and achieved thereby a remarkable reputation. O tiger among men, we bow down to thee. O, command us what we shall do. However difficult of accomplishment, thy command being made known ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Part 2 • Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

... retain for more than a generation the respect of good men in many lands, and to be deemed worthy of enrolment among his country's great men. Such a man was Frederick Douglass, and the example of one who thus rose to eminence by sheer force of character and talents that neither slavery nor caste proscription could crush must ever remain as a shining illustration of the essential superiority of manhood to environment. Circumstances made Frederick Douglass a slave, but they could not prevent him from becoming ...
— Frederick Douglass - A Biography • Charles Waddell Chesnutt

... their slumbers, and when she opened her eyes she could not realize for a moment where she was. Instead of the plain white walls of her room, she saw the soft gray tints of silk and the sheen of silver, and her hands touched a silken-covered eiderdown quilt. She closed her eyes in sheer happiness, and then opened them again to be sure that it was not all a mirage. At last, not being used to lying in bed, she arose and, putting on the dressing-gown, went to one of the windows and ...
— Drusilla with a Million • Elizabeth Cooper

... half-past eleven with a furious attack on Hougoumont. It was defended with desperate gallantry, mainly by the British guards, who reopened the old loopholes in the garden-walls, and closed by sheer muscular force the eastern gate of the yard, which had been forced open by the French. In the fruitless siege of Hougoumont, as it may be called, the French left wing thus wasted most of its strength, and incurred enormous loss. Meanwhile, the ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... that one man was as good as another, was the natural and legitimate product of contemporary economic conditions. The average man, without any special bent or qualifications, was in the pioneer states the useful man. In that country it was sheer waste to spend much energy upon tasks which demanded skill, prolonged experience, high technical standards, or exclusive devotion. The cheaply and easily made instrument was the efficient instrument, because it was adapted to a year or two of use and then for supersession ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... higher and higher, occasionally passing through olive plantations, and then suddenly emerging from their sombre shade to the dazzling bright sea once more; then we doubled a finely wooded promontory, almost a sheer precipice, catching a glimpse of the beautiful little circling bays sparkling in the abyss below; sometimes passing sharp curves in the road, which required very skilful driving, there being but a low wall—and that partly broken in many places—to divide us from a fall of about sixty feet! Still ...
— Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo • W. Cope Devereux

... Prussian drums and bugles, Genappe was abandoned, and nothing thought of but headlong flight. The Prussians, under General Gneisenau, still followed and still slew; nor even when the Prussian infantry stopped in sheer exhaustion, was the pursuit given up. Gneisenau still pushed on with the cavalry; and by an ingenious stratagem, made the French believe that his infantry were still close on them, and scared them from every spot ...
— The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo • Sir Edward Creasy, M.A.

... silently slipped down. It was no easy thing to negotiate that stiff mountainside in the darkness, where a slip would have sent one of them rolling down into the sharp rock-slide beneath. Presently they came to a rockrim, a sheer descent of twenty-five feet down the perpendicular face ...
— A Daughter of the Dons - A Story of New Mexico Today • William MacLeod Raine

... spirit he spake to himself: "Woe is me! for now, when beyond all hope Zeus hath given me the sight of land, there is no place where I may win to shore from out of the sea. For the crags are sharp, and the waves roar about them, and the smooth rock riseth sheer from the sea, and the water is deep, so that I may gain no foothold. If I should seek to land, then a great wave may dash me on the rocks. And if I swim along the shore, to find some harbour, I fear lest the winds may catch me again and bear me out into the deep; or it may be that some god may ...
— The Story Of The Odyssey • The Rev. Alfred J. Church

... the world of English art lost one of its brightest ornaments, and he himself both fame and fortune; for, as Mr. Bates observes, "some of his earliest friends were alienated, and remunerative work that might have been his was diverted, from sheer prejudice, into other hands." His style, too, as Mr. Bates further remarks, "suffered by the contraction of his ideas and sympathies, and his art became associated with that vulgarity and want of aestheticism which perhaps necessarily characterizes the movement." The Bottle and ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... upon the grass, And gazed into the tenderest blue of heaven— Cleansed as with dew, so limpid, pure and sweet— All flecked with silver packs of standing cloud Most beautiful! But watch them narrowly! Those clouds will sheer small fleeces from their sides, Which, melting in our sight as in a dream, Will vanish all like phantoms in the sky. So melts our heedless race! Some weaned away, And wedded to rough-handed pioneers, Who, fierce as wolves ...
— Tecumseh: A Drama • Charles Mair

... if anything will—he-he!" he mumbled, tittering from sheer excitement. Beyond a very natural desire to do what he could for her, he was extremely anxious to bring her to her senses, so that he could hear what had happened, and how ...
— Lonesome Land • B. M. Bower

... than Dogberry and Verges. Readers of the Spectator will remember how when Sir Roger de Coverley went to the play, his servants 'provided themselves with good oaken plants' to protect their master from the Mohocks, a set of dissolute young men, who, for sheer amusement, inflicted the most terrible punishments on their victims. Swift tells Stella how he came home early from his walk in the Park to avoid 'a race of rakes that play the devil about this town every night, and slit people's noses,' and he adds, as if party were at the root of every ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... gathered together to talk, just as in the days of Ben Jonson they gathered at the Mermaid Tavern. And in these still nearly newspaperless days it was in the coffee-houses that the latest news, whether of politics or literature or sheer gossip, was heard and discussed. At one coffee-house chiefly statesmen and politicians would gather, at another poets and wits, and so on. So Steele dated each article from the coffee- house at which the subject of it ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... adventure during this day's journey, than buying bread and cheese from sheer hunger, at a little wooden tavern by the road-side, whose shelves were covered with glittering rows of bottles of brandy and mezcal. At some of the Indian huts also we bought various branches of platanos, that most ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... talent against talent, treason against treason—in all this Randal Leslie would have risen superior to Giulio di Peschiera. But what now crushed him was not the superior intellect,—it was the sheer brute power of audacity and nerve. Here stood the careless, unblushing villain, making light of his guilt, carrying it away from disgust itself, with resolute look and front erect. There stood the abler, subtler, profounder criminal, cowering, ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... shilling or so a week; and a shilling goes a long way with a woman who lives upon tea and sops. In their latter days these women resemble the pollard oaks, which linger on year after year, and finally fall from sheer decay. ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... man, Mr. Jones," she said sweetly. "It was a sheer accident. He was taken by surprise. In his place I would ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... desperately strove to break through and get to the front, so that he might in some degree stem the rush until his men could recover their wits; but it could not be done. The Chinese were being driven backward and jammed together by sheer weight of numbers, until they could move neither hand nor foot, and were being slaughtered like sheep. The last thing that Frobisher was conscious of was that he was shouting frenziedly for Drake; then something flashed before his eyes, a thousand sparks ...
— A Chinese Command - A Story of Adventure in Eastern Seas • Harry Collingwood

... not given to every man to have that greater love which will make him lay down his life for a friend, but it is the sheer poltroon and craven who will watch a friend linger and expire in agony without lifting a finger to save him. Knave or fool—what does it matter when either is ...
— She Stands Accused • Victor MacClure

... and main interest in him was sheer Guruism, for she was one of those intensely happy people who pass through life in ecstatic pursuit of some idea which those who do not share it call a fad. Well might poor Robert remember the devastation ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... built against the sheer yellow stone facing at the base of Lost Chief range, known incorrectly as the Yellow Canyon. The house of half a dozen rooms was the most picturesque cabin in the valley, for Grandfather Rodman had built the roof with an overhang, giving ...
— Judith of the Godless Valley • Honore Willsie

... Now that breech-loading and slow powders have been introduced, these conditions have been changed. The strains, though less severe, and less tending to explosive rupture, last longer, and are more fully transmitted through the body of the gun. Sheer strength of material now tells more, and signs have not been wanting that coils of wrought iron afford insufficient support to the lining. It becomes, therefore, advantageous to thicken the inner tube, and to support it with a steel breech piece. Carrying this principle further, ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... have killed more women and children in England than able-bodied men, that they had been sharing in work which could not be described as even of indirect military value, but was more of the nature of sheer murder. And Germany condemned his conduct by every adjective that implied brutality ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... intelligence, and untiring energy had made him one of the ablest men in the service. By sheer ability he had won for himself the oversight of this district, which was one of the most important in the entire million acres ...
— The Young Wireless Operator—As a Fire Patrol - The Story of a Young Wireless Amateur Who Made Good as a Fire Patrol • Lewis E. Theiss

... I spent in this abode of the dead, without rest or sleep. The attempt to obtain either would have been sheer madness, for the least mis-step, the least unguarded motion, or a slight relaxation of the firm grasp by which I held on to the shelves, would have plunged me headlong into the dark water, from which escape would have been ...
— Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal • Sarah J Richardson

... grass and field flowers by the roadside, he grasped his stick in one hand and leaned his head upon that support, closing his eyes in sheer fatigue and despondency. Suddenly a sound startled him, and he struggled to his feet, his eyes shining with an intent and eager look. That clear, tender voice!—that ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... experience for novices is to go with a guide from the Gorner-Grat to the Hohtaeligrat and thence down to the Findelen Glacier. It looks dangerous but it is not really so, if the climber is careful, for altho there is a sheer descent on either side of the arete or ridge which leads from the one point to the other, the way is never narrow and only over easy ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume VI • Various

... water of the upper river is always cold, and the great wind chilled the air. Even under the August noon it took brisk work to keep one's teeth from chattering. The bank we were following became a precipice rising sheer from the river's edge, and the water deepened until we could no longer wade. We got in and poled on to the next shallows, often for many minutes at a time barely holding our own against the stiff gusts. For two ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... but afraid of putting any strain on the line lest the salmon should "break" him. Down round the bend below the pool and by the "Slabs" fish and fisherman sped, till the latter was brought up by the sheer rock of Craigellachie. Fortunately a fisherman ferried the Earl across the river to the side on which he was able to follow the fish. On he ran, keeping up with the fish, under the bridge, along the margin of "Shanks's Pool," past the "Boat of Fiddoch" pool and the mouth of the tributary; ...
— Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places • Archibald Forbes

... laugh'd, and we roar'd a hurrah, and so The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the foe, With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below; For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen, And the little Revenge ran on ...
— The Evolution of Expression Vol. I • Charles Wesley Emerson

... presented their gray boards, each eaten with four or five knot-holes, to the elements in abject submission. The door of one hung loose by a rust-encased hinge, of which only one screw remained on duty, and that by sheer willpower of two or three threads. Legree could not quite make out how many threads there were on the screw, but he guessed, and Simon Legree's guess was nearly always right. On the ground at the ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... your Excellency," burst in Ben Zoof, emphatically; "the fellows are chicken-hearted enough already; only tell them what has happened, and in sheer despondency they will not do another ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... back joyfully in the service of her ideal. She would not allow Camilla to pump for herself, but flew to the handle with such energy that the white water gushed out in a flood, overflowing Camilla's cup, spattering over on her fingers, and sparkling on the sheer white of her hemstitched cuffs. This made them both laugh, the delicious silly ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... but it represents as strange a jumble of feelings, and compound of discords, as any polysyllable in the language. Miss Squeers knew as well in her heart of hearts that what the miserable serving-girl had said was sheer, coarse, lying flattery, as did the girl herself; yet the mere opportunity of venting a little ill-nature against the offending Miss Price, and affecting to compassionate her weaknesses and foibles, though only in the presence of a solitary dependant, was ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... of, and indeed at all times during Turkish rule, human life was held very cheap. For the slightest offences, or sometimes at the mere caprice of those in power, men were taken up and bastinadoed in the open streets until they died from sheer agony, and their relations did not dare to remove the bodies for burial until their tyrants had left the scene. Cruelty became almost the second nature of the people. Theft was checked by the amputation of the first joint of the fore-finger of the ...
— The Pirate City - An Algerine Tale • R.M. Ballantyne

... the day, when Dave from sheer weariness and worry had lain down among the heaps of burlap, that a diversion came to monotony. He started up as he heard voice outside of the door. Then the padlock rattled, the door opened, and some one stepped across the threshold. ...
— Dave Dashaway and his Hydroplane • Roy Rockwood

... be born as old as their grandmothers," said Agatha, accepting a fieldfare from the sewer, and squeezing a lemon over it. "I would fain enjoy my youth, though I'm little like to do it whilst here I am. Howbeit, it were sheer waste of stuff for any maid to set her heart on Master Norman; he wist not how to discourse with maids. He should have been a monk, in very sooth, for he is fit for nought no better. There isn't a sparkle ...
— The White Lady of Hazelwood - A Tale of the Fourteenth Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... expression changed slightly as he stood there, the sound of the clock conveying to him (it may be) a sense of old buildings and time; and himself the inheritor; and then to-morrow; and friends; at the thought of whom, in sheer confidence and pleasure, it seemed, he ...
— Jacob's Room • Virginia Woolf

... saving what would yet remain, for Mr Harding still felt little doubt but he should be left for life in quiet possession of the good things he had, if he chose to retain them. No; he would have done so from the sheer love of quiet, and from a horror of being made the subject of public talk. He had very often been moved to pity.—to that inward weeping of the heart for others' woes; but none had he ever pitied more than that old lord, whose almost fabulous wealth, drawn from his church preferments, had become ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... my lord, thy vassal am I grown And of thy might obediently await Grace for my lowliness; Yet wot I not if wholly there be known The high desire that in my breast thou'st set And my sheer faith, no less, Of her who doth possess My heart so that from none beneath the skies, Save her alone, peace would I take ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... an hour with Mr. and Mrs. Hewett, he was sure sooner or later to indulge the misery that preyed upon him and give way to sheer weeping. He did so this evening, almost as soon ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... what a noise Aunt Debby's pins were making, and could Aunt Judith not read in a lower tone? Nellie was surprised at Miss Latimer's good-humoured patience, and thoroughly enjoyed Miss Deborah's occasional tart remarks, thrown out in sheer desperation. ...
— Aunt Judith - The Story of a Loving Life • Grace Beaumont

... And, being espied by the enemy and pursued, from this danger he was rescued by a strong south wind, which sprang up and raised so high a sea, that the enemy's galleys could make little way. But his own ships were driving before it upon a lee shore of cliffs and rocks running sheer to the water, where there was no hope of escape, when all of a sudden the wind turned about to south-west, and blew from land to the main sea, where Antony, now sailing in security, saw the coast all covered with ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... respects to the most gorgeous tree of the island, it would be sheer gracelessness to withhold a tribute to one of the commonest, though ever novel and remarkable—the umbrella-tree. Less conspicuous in its blooming than the flame-tree, it flourishes everywhere—on the beaches with its roots awash at high tide; on the rearguard ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... him before he'd finished with the Black. Ha, ha, ha, ha! I can hear him still, with the sweat running off his face like oats spilling from a feed bag. I says to Paddy, 'Rub his nose a bit,' for I could see it was more nervousness with the horse than sheer deviltry. 'With what?' says Paddy, 'the hammer? Be gor! You're right, though,' says he, and with that he tries to put a twister on Diablo's nose. Holy mother! Diablo reached for him, and lifted the shirt clean off his ...
— Thoroughbreds • W. A. Fraser

... Buffalo Rock had been occupied by the Miami village, so that it was known as Le Fort des Miamis. This explains the Indian remains found here. He then speaks of "Le Rocher," calling it by that name; says that it is about a league below on the left or south side, forming a sheer cliff, very high, and looking like a fortress on the border of the river. He saw remains of palisades at the top which he thinks were made by the Illinois (Journal Historique, Let. xxvii), though his countrymen had occupied it only three years before. ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... turn again to the poet-prophets of Scripture: 'And God said, Let us make man in our image.' The word 'OUR' here implies an instinctive idea that God was never alone. This idea is correct. Love cannot exist in a chaos; and God by the sheer necessity of His Being has for ever been surrounded by radiant and immortal Spirits emanating from His own creative glory—beings in whom all beauty and all purity are found. In the IMAGES, therefore (only the IMAGES), of these Children of Light and of ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... the whole world. What is more, he throws money away as if it were dust. The day on which he gave the thrashing with blows like falling leaves and flowing water, he dragged (lit. pull alive, drag dead) Ying Lien away more dead than alive, by sheer force, and no one, even up to this date, is aware whether she be among the dead or the living. This young Feng had a spell of empty happiness; for (not only) was his wish not fulfilled, but on the contrary he spent money and lost his life; ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... Lady Muriel had to stop through sheer exhaustion, but Mr Bunker, merely letting her go, pursued his solitary ...
— The Lunatic at Large • J. Storer Clouston

... to tell you that he too has been hit by one of Eros' darts. You may turn red and white, and look at me as if I were your enemy, and talking contemptible nonsense. I have seen many strange things, but I never saw any one before you who was a coward out of sheer courage, and yet of all the women I know there is not one to whom fear is less known than my bold and resolute Klea. The road is a hard one that you must take, but only cover your poor little heart with a coat of mail, and venture in all confidence to meet the Roman, who is an excellent good fellow. ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... one way and then another, I tried to locate the brokenhearted mourner. But Long's sheer, precipitous face and the lofty cliffs around me formed a vast amphitheater about which echoes raced, crossing and recrossing, intermingling. For a full minute the coyote howled, his sharp staccato notes rising higher and higher, the echoes returning ...
— A Mountain Boyhood • Joe Mills

... on the same course until abreast of the perch, which was only a forked stick. The men came aft and hauled in the mizzen sheer. Chambers put up the helm. The mizzen came across with a jerk, and the sheet was again allowed to run out. The jib came over with a report like the shot of a cannon, and at the ...
— By England's Aid or The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604) • G.A. Henty

... with her hands in her lap and be waited on by slaves, and if a golden treasure fell into my possession, I would never stir a finger again, and would sleep every day till the sun was high and make slaves look after my father and the children. My life is sheer misery. If ever we see better days I shall be astonished, and before I have got over my astonishment it ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... man's cheek did not burn any longer as he recalled that incident. He felt nothing now, no anger, no bitterness. To such as he it is so easy to forgive. Forgiveness had ever flowed from him in sheer weakness. It had been the habit of his life to love and admire his brother—he loved and admired him still. He did not think that he himself would have been quite so hard on a poor devil in his place; but his ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... beautiful charity clothes, decided that she must speak to Caddles herself. He appeared in her presence with his hair hastily wetted and smoothed by hand, breathless, and clinging to his hat brim as though it was a life-belt, and he stumbled at the carpet edge out of sheer distress ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... of the picturesque—according to French accounts, English, we have none—for many years had been a Yarrow to me, a reserve of delight, held back from sheer Epicureanism. ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... of Muffat, but she took care not to confess to the young men the real reason for this first quarrel, which was that one evening he had found a man's hat in her bedroom. She had indeed brought home a passer-by out of sheer ennui—a silly infatuation. ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... any excuses to himself. He had a sort of idea that if he saw the magnificence that housed her, it would through her sheer remoteness kill the misery in him. But he regarded himself with a sort of humorous pity, and having picked up a stray dog, he addressed it ...
— A Poor Wise Man • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... was carried away by the strong current; whereupon he threw down the net and plunged into the water after the purse. He dived for it nigh a hundred times, till his strength was exhausted and he came up for sheer fatigue without chancing on it. When he despaired of finding the purse, he returned to the shore, where he was nothing but staff, net and basket and sought for his clothes, but could light on no trace of them: so he said in himself, "O vilest of those ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 8 • Richard F. Burton

... live among the disease germs and the doctors and the lawyers and the parsons and the restaurant chefs and the tradesmen and the servants and all the rest of the parasites and blackmailers. What are our terrors to theirs? Give me the power to kill them; and I'll spare them in sheer...
— Heartbreak House • George Bernard Shaw

... sloping hill-sides, covered with farms, then it pierces the sheer rock, then again borders the cliff, fifty or one hundred feet from the lake below. The trees are in full leaf and some are in bloom. The grass is high where we walked, but up towards the tops of the mountains, the snow still lies. One of the strange sights is to see large, splendid hotels perched ...
— Story of Chester Lawrence • Nephi Anderson

... inwardly for a fool and a dolt—the more pitiable because he accounted himself cunning above others. Had he but kept his temper, had he done no more than maintain the happy pretence that he was a slave to the orders he had received—a mere machine—he might have gained his ends by sheer audacity. At least, his way of retreat would have remained open, and he might have gone, to return another day with force at ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... a two-thousand foot slant at an angle (the dip-dial and my bouncing body record it) of thirty-five. Our turbines scream shrilly; the propellers cannot bite on the thin air; Tim shunts the lift out of five tanks at once and by sheer weight drives her bullet wise through the maelstrom till she cushions with jar on an up-gust, three thousand ...
— Actions and Reactions • Rudyard Kipling

... means?—or cannot any of our readers call to mind from among the list of their quondam acquaintance, some fallen and degraded man, who lingers about the pavement in hungry misery—from whom every one turns coldly away, and who preserves himself from sheer starvation, nobody knows how? Alas! such cases are of too frequent occurrence to be rare items in any man's experience; and but too often arise from one cause—drunkenness—that fierce rage for the slow, sure poison, that oversteps every other consideration; that casts aside wife, children, friends, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... adverse influences, though with fancy in it, descriptive power, and characters well designed, will never rank with his higher efforts. It has some pictures of a rare veracity of soul amid the lowest forms of social degradation, placed beside others of sheer falsehood and pretence amid unimpeachable social correctness, which lifted the writer to his old place; but the judgment of it on the whole must be, that it wants freshness and natural development. This ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... don't kick up a row!"— GRANDOLPHO mine, it were sheer superfluity For you to bid your forces scatter now. The troopers two, of curious incongruity, With the long drummer, and the fifer short, That formed the old stage-army were more numerous Than is your following. You have given us sport In many ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 22, 1890 • Various



Words linked to "Sheer" :   steer, turn, peel off, guide, point, channelise, maneuver, head, yaw, direct, steep, complete, manoeuvre, pure, channelize, manoeuver, thin



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