Definition of


  1. (noun, artifact) a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel
  2. (noun, artifact) bed linen consisting of a large rectangular piece of cotton or linen cloth; used in pairs
  3. (noun, artifact) (nautical) a line (rope or chain) that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind
  4. (noun, artifact) a flat artifact that is thin relative to its length and width
  5. (noun, communication) paper used for writing or printing
  6. (noun, communication) newspaper with half-size pages
  7. (noun, object) any broad thin expanse or surface
  8. (noun, shape) (mathematics) an unbounded two-dimensional shape
    any line joining two points on a plane lies wholly on that plane
  9. (verb, contact) cover with a sheet, as if by wrapping
  10. (verb, weather) come down as if in sheets

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Sheet

  1. O.E. sciete (W.Saxon), scete (Mercian) "cloth, covering," from P.Gmc. *skautijon, from base *skauta- "project" (cf. O.N. skaut "corner of cloth," Goth. skauts "seam, hem of a garment;" Du. schoot Ger. Scho? "bosom, lap"), from PIE base *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot). Sense of "piece of paper" first rec… more
  2. "rope that controls a sail," O.E. sceatline "sheet-line," from sceata "lower part of sail," originally "piece of cloth," from same root as sheet (1) (q.v.). The sense transferred to the rope by 1294. This is probably the notion in phrase three sheets to the wind "drunk and disorganized," first recorded 1821, an image of a sloop-rigged sailboat whose three s… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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