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See also: Sheen



  • IPA(key): /ʃiːn/, enPR: shēn
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːn

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English shene, schene, from Old English sċīene (beautiful, fair, bright, brilliant, light), from Proto-West Germanic *skaunī, from Proto-Germanic *skauniz (beautiful), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kewh₁-.

Cognate with Scots schene, scheine (beautiful, fair, attractive), Saterland Frisian skeen (clean, pure), West Frisian skjin (nice, clean), Dutch schoon (clean, beautiful, fair), German schön (beautiful), Danish skøn (beautiful), Norwegian Bokmål skjønn (beautiful), Norwegian Nynorsk skjønn (beautiful), Swedish skön (beautiful, fine). Compare also the loanword Finnish kaunis (beautiful). See also English show.


sheen (comparative sheener, superlative sheenest)

  1. (rare, poetic) Beautiful, good-looking, attractive; radiant; shiny.
Derived terms[edit]


sheen (countable and uncountable, plural sheens)

  1. (also figuratively) Splendor; radiance; shininess.
    • 1946, Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan:
      There is a greenish sheen across the shoulders of his greasy black suit, for the morning light has of a sudden begun to dance through the bay window.
    • 2022 September 27, Kim Severson, “The Last, Painful Days of Anthony Bourdain”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Mr. Leerhsen said in an interview that he wanted to write a book without the dutiful sheen of what he called “an official Bourdain product.”
  2. A thin layer of a substance (such as oil) spread on a solid or liquid surface.
    oil sheen
    • 2004, Harold McGee, chapter 1, in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, →ISBN:
      Perhaps the simplest of sauces is the pat of butter dropped on a heap of hot vegetables, or stirred into rice or noodles, or drawn across the surface of an omelet or steak to give a sheen.
    • 2017, Jeffrey Miller, Ann Powers, Introduction to Environmental Law: Cases and Materials on Water Pollution Control, West Academic, →ISBN:
      Take the floating scum or oil sheen prohibitions. A discharger or an inspector simply can look to see if scum, or an oil sheen, is coming from a particular discharge. Assume an oil sheen begins at a discharge—is the sheen caused by that []
Derived terms[edit]


sheen (third-person singular simple present sheens, present participle sheening, simple past and past participle sheened)

  1. (rare, intransitive, poetic) To shine; to glisten.

Etymology 2[edit]


sheen (plural sheens)

  1. The letter ش in the Arabic script.

Further reading[edit]