2. Very thin or transparent; applied to fabrics; as, sheer muslin.
3. Being only what it seems to be; obvious; simple; mere; downright; as, sheer folly; sheer nonsense. A sheer impossibility. It is not a sheer advantage to have several strings to one's bow. (M. Arnold)
Origin: OE. Shere, skere, pure, bright, Icel. Skrr; akin to skirr, AS. Scir, OS. Skiri, MHG. Schir, G. Schier, Dan. Skr, Sw. Skar, Goth. Skeirs clear, and E. Shine. See Shine.