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sheer
used in Moby Dick

5 uses
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1  —2 uses as in:
sheered to the left
Definition
change direction abruptly; or to cause such a change of direction — (usually said of a boat)
  • 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.
    Chapters 16-18 — The Ship; The Ramadan; His Mark (97% in)
  • But not a bit daunted, Queequeg steered us manfully; now sheering off from this monster directly across our route in advance; now edging away from that, whose colossal flukes were suspended overhead, while all the time, Starbuck stood up in the bows, lance in hand, pricking out of our way whatever whales he could reach by short darts, for there was no time to make long ones.
    Chapters 85-87 — The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (72% in)

There are no more uses of "sheer" flagged with this meaning in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®
?  —3 uses
exact meaning not specified
  • Besides he all the time looked so easy and indolent himself, so loungingly managed his steering-oar, and so broadly gaped—open-mouthed at times—that the mere sight of such a yawning commander, by sheer force of contrast, acted like a charm upon the crew.
    Chapters 46-48 — Surmises; The Mat-Maker; The First Lowering (49% in)
  • But as the mind does not exist unless leagued with the soul, therefore it must have been that, in Ahab's case, yielding up all his thoughts and fancies to his one supreme purpose; that purpose, by its own sheer inveteracy of will, forced itself against gods and devils into a kind of self-assumed, independent being of its own.
    Chapters 43-45 — Hark!; The Chart; The Affidavit (38% in)
  • As, blind and deaf, the whale plunged forward, as if by sheer power of speed to rid himself of the iron leech that had fastened to him; as we thus tore a white gash in the sea, on all sides menaced as we flew, by the crazed creatures to and fro rushing about us; our beset boat was like a ship mobbed by ice-isles in a tempest, and striving to steer through their complicated channels and straits, knowing not at what moment it may be locked in and crushed.
    Chapters 85-87 — The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (71% in)

There are no more uses of "sheer" in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®