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See also: Sheet



From Middle English schete; partly from Old English sċīete (a sheet, a piece of linen cloth); partly from Old English sċēata (a corner, angle; the lower corner of a sail, sheet); and Old English sċēat (a corner, angle); all from Proto-Germanic *skautijǭ, *skautaz (corner, wedge, lap), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kewd- (to throw, shoot, pursue, rush).

Cognate with North Frisian skut (the fold of a garment, lap, coattail), West Frisian skoat (sheet; sail; lap), Dutch schoot (the fold of a garment, lap, sheet), German Low German Schote (a line from the foot of a sail), German Schoß (the fold of a garment, lap), Swedish sköt (sheet), Icelandic skaut (the corner of a cloth, a line from the foot of a sail, the skirt or sleeve of a garment, a hood).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʃiːt/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ʃit/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sheet
  • Rhymes: -iːt


sheet (plural sheets)

  1. A thin bed cloth used as a covering for a mattress or as a layer over the sleeper.
    Use the sheets in the hall closet to make the bed.
  2. A piece of paper, usually rectangular, that has been prepared for writing, artwork, drafting, wrapping, manufacture of packaging (boxes, envelopes, etc.), and for other uses. The word does not include scraps and irregular small pieces destined to be recycled, used for stuffing or cushioning or paper mache, etc. In modern books, each sheet of paper is typically folded in half, to produce two leaves and four pages. In the absence of folding, "leaf" and "sheet" are equivalent.
    Holonyms: signature, quire
    Meronyms: leaf, folium, page
    A sheet of paper measuring eight and one-half inches wide by eleven inches high is a popular item in commerce.
    Paper is designated “20 pound” if a stack (ream) of 500 sheets 22 inches by 17 inches weighs 20 pounds.
  3. A flat metal pan, often without raised edge, used for baking.
    Place the rolls on the cookie sheet, edges touching, and bake for 10-11 minutes.
  4. A thin, flat layer of solid material.
    The glazer cut several panes from a large sheet of glass.
    A sheet of that new silicon stuff is as good as a sheet of tinfoil to keep food from sticking in the baking pan.
  5. A broad, flat expanse of a material on a surface.
    Mud froze on the road in a solid sheet, then more rain froze into a sheet of ice on top of the mud!
  6. (nautical) A line (rope) used to adjust the trim of a sail.
    To be "three sheets to the wind" is to say that a four-cornered sail is tethered only by one sheet and thus the sail is useless.
  7. (nautical, nonstandard) A sail.
  8. (curling) The area of ice on which the game of curling is played.
  9. (nonstandard) A layer of veneer.
  10. (figuratively) Precipitation of such quantity and force as to resemble a thin, virtually solid wall.
  11. (geology) An extensive bed of an eruptive rock intruded between, or overlying, other strata.
  12. (nautical) The space in the forward or after part of a boat where there are no rowers.
    fore sheets; stern sheets
  13. (video games, dated) A distinct level or stage within a game.
    • 1983, "Program Printout: Gecko" (in Sinclair User, issue 21, page 95)
      The gecko moves from left to right and you must catch him when he calls. [] On the second sheet you must stand under the Gecko in the tree and jump, and on the third sheet you must catch the Gecko's friend.
    • 1984 February, Sinclair Programs:
      If you land safely you will gain 30 extra points and move to the next sheet.
    • 1984, Chris Passey, Matthew Uffindell, “Run It Again”, in Crash[1], number 4:
      What distinguishes Eskimo Eddie from the others is that it has two totally different sheets in the game. [] In the first sheet, Frogger style, you have to rescue Percy penguin from Growler the bear.



Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (thin layer of solid material): film
  • (expanse of material): film

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



sheet (third-person singular simple present sheets, present participle sheeting, simple past and past participle sheeted)

  1. (transitive) To cover or wrap with cloth, or paper, or other similar material.
    Remember to sheet the floor before you start painting.
  2. (transitive) To form into sheets.
  3. (intransitive) Of rain, or other precipitation, to pour heavily.
    We couldn't go out because the rain was sheeting down all day long.
  4. (nautical) To trim a sail using a sheet.