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as in:  sheered to the left

The boat sheered to port to avoid a collision.
  change direction abruptly; or to cause such a change of direction
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sheer sheers sheered sheering
This sense of sheer was more common in the past that it is now. It sounds like shear (to cut), but is spelled differently. It also sounds like shear as in wind shear and has a similar meaning. Wind shear refers to wind rapidly changing direction or speed over a short distance in the atmosphere.
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  • The boat sheered to port to avoid a collision.
  • They argued that the ship’s sudden sheer caused the collision.
  • Looking up at the sheering wall above me, I could see streaks and runnels down the stone, marking the path of garbage tipped from a sliding door forty feet above.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Well, here she comes, and we said she was going to try and shave us; but she didn’t seem to be sheering off a bit.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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  • Fear, beasts, no general agreement that the fire was all-important: and when one tried to get the thing straight the argument sheered off, bringing up fresh, unpleasant matter.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • Sometimes he sheered off the subject, or turned the conversation by pretending not to understand, but generally he answered all I asked most frankly.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • "How shall I know Sea Cow when I meet him?" said Kotick, sheering off.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  The Jungle Book
  • He got so frightened about his plaguy soul, that he shrinked and sheered away from whales, for fear of after-claps, in case he got stove and went to Davy Jones.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • At last the frantic sufferer sheered from its course, and sprang into its master’s lap; he flung it out of the window, and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and died in the distance.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Then the downstream one vanishes, dragging the other with him; the wagon sheers crosswise, poised on the crest of the ford as the log strikes it, tilting it up and on.
    William Faulkner  --  As I Lay Dying

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  • Oddly enough the other horse seemed also to be sheering away to the left, so that in a few seconds the space between them had widened a good deal.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Horse and His Boy
  • After each repulse, when the old wolf sheered abruptly away from the sharp-toothed object of his desire, he shouldered against a young threeyear-old that ran on his blind right side.
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • I sheered her well inshore—the water being deepest near the bank, as the sounding-pole informed me.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • But the horse slowed, sheering into the curb.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • Then, by Athena’s wind borne on, the ship rounded Pheai by night and coasted Elis, the green domain of the Epeioi; thence he put her head north toward the running pack of islets, wondering if by sailing wide he sheered off Death, or would be caught.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • The first weapon made by the Cyclopes for the war against the Titans, the bolt that sheered the top off Mount Etna and hurled Kronos from his throne; the master bolt, which packs enough power to make mortal hydrogen bombs look like firecrackers.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lightning Thief
  • Driving for the passage, Menelaos tried to keep his wheels clear, but Antilokhos swung to one side to pass, and drove his team outside the track, sheering a little toward him.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • The brig was sheering swiftly and giddily through a long, cresting swell.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Kidnapped
  • They looked from afar at isolated cottages and little inns, and were inclined to approach one of the latter, when their hearts failed them, and they sheered off.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • It was no sooner free from the incumbrance of the branches, than it swung into the stream, sheering quite close to the western shore, by the force of the current.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • The very remembrance sheered off his morbid introspection.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • The ponderous walls sheered away from the river.
    Zane Grey  --  The Rainbow Trail
  • A few rivets sheered off, each with a piercing screeeeek.
    Dean Koontz  --  Sole Survivor
  • He sheered away from it-where was she?-and entered the front-room.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • Beyond Bernardino Link sheered off the road and put the car to a long, low-rising slope.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • Her gown was as thin as Mama’s sheers in the dining room.
    Jill McCorkle  --  Ferris Beach
  • They resumed travel, sheering off to the right and keeping to the edge of the intersecting canuon.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • The canyon had widened, and the creek with its deep thicket of green and white had sheered to the left.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • She was certain her eyes wheeled like a panicked horse’s when Trina tested her cropping sheers.
    J.D. Robb  --  Immortal in Death
  • For half a mile the flock kept to the trail, then, as if by common consent, they sheered off to the right.
    Zane Grey  --  The Heritage of the Desert
  • The boat sheered out with a rush, and the hunter steadied it to a parallel course some twenty feet from the side of the Ghost.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • All the passengers had been packed tidily into the boats and shoved clear of the ship, when Bob sheered alongside again and scrambled back on deck to fetch that girl.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • There came intervals when he was free of that lowered battering head; and during the last of these he sheered away among the stragglers of the herd, leaving the field to the victor.
    Zane Grey  --  The Thundering Herd
  • The car wobbled in the sound booms of highballing trucks, drivers perched in tall cabs with food, drink, dope and pornography, and the rigs seemed to draw the little car down the pike in their sheering wind.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • Nothing was more natural than that they should speak of Gray Stoddard’s disappearance, since Watauga, Cottonville, and the mountains above were full of the topic; yet husband and wife sheered from it in a sort of terror.
    Grace MacGowan Cooke  --  The Power and the Glory
  • Then it seemed that the herd moved in a great curve, a huge half-moon with the points of head and tail almost opposite, and a mile apart But Lassiter relentlessly crowded the leaders, sheering them to the left, turning them little by little.
    Zane Grey  --  Riders of the Purple Sage
  • But damn the bit of manners has the fellow, any more than if he was one of them Guineas down in the kitchen there; and so as he was sheering nearer, every stretch he made toward the house, I could do no better than to let your honor know that the chap was in the offing.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • THE WOMAN: You had two boxes of size nine sheers for me, and I want them!
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • When, far up the track, the block signal snapped from red to green and the long, stabbing probe of the headlight sheered the bend and blared on the station, men looked at their watches and said, "On time.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • …being left alive in it, and they badly wounded), the chief galley of John Andrea, on board of which I and my company were placed, came to its relief, and doing as was bound to do in such a case, I leaped on board the enemy’s galley, which, sheering off from that which had attacked it, prevented my men from following me, and so I found myself alone in the midst of my enemies, who were in such numbers that I was unable to resist; in short I was taken, covered with wounds; El Uchali, as…
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Above sheered the black, gold-patched slopes, steep and unscalable, rising to buttresses of dark, iron-hued rock.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • And a blaze of fire, a burst of molten gold, sheered up from behind the rim of cloud and suddenly poured a sea of sunlight from east to west.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • He sheered to the left again, in line with the rocky barrier, and kept on, wondering what the next mile would bring.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • The green and red rock wall sheered ponderously near: The waterfall showed first at the notch of a fissure, where the cliff split; and down over smooth places the water gleamed, to narrow in a crack with little drops, and suddenly to leap into a thin white sheet.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • The fire had been hid by sheering towards the shore, and the latter was nearer, perhaps, than was desirable.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • Steep black-cindered slope, with its soft gray patches of grass, sheered down and down, and out in rolling slope to merge upon a cedar-dotted level.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • By this time, now and then sheering to one side or the other to avoid a reef, but still hugging the wind and the land, we had got round Iona and begun to come alongside Mull.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Kidnapped
  • At last the train sheered away from the broad Hudson and entered the environs of New York.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • Later that day, still undaunted, he sheered again toward the trap-wall, and found that the nearer he approached to the place where he had come down into the brake the greater his danger.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • With such feelings she gave a sweep with her paddle, and sheered off from the fringe of dark hemlocks beneath the shades of which she was so near entering, and held her way again, more towards the centre of the lake.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
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Associated words [difficulty]:   sheer [6]
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