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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Sheer, n.
 1. Naut. (a) The longitudinal upward curvature of the deck, gunwale, and lines of a vessel, as when viewed from the side. (b) The position of a vessel riding at single anchor and swinging clear of it.
 2. A turn or change in a course.
    Give the canoe a sheer and get nearer to the shore.   --Cooper.
 3. pl. Shears See Shear.
 Sheer batten Shipbuilding, a long strip of wood to guide the carpenters in following the sheer plan.
 Sheer boom, a boom slanting across a stream to direct floating logs to one side.
 Sheer hulk. See Shear hulk, under Hulk.
 Sheer plan, or Sheer draught Shipbuilding, a projection of the lines of a vessel on a vertical longitudinal plane passing through the middle line of the vessel.
 Sheer pole Naut., an iron rod lashed to the shrouds just above the dead-eyes and parallel to the ratlines.
 Sheer strake Shipbuilding, the strake under the gunwale on the top side. --Totten.
 To break sheer Naut., to deviate from sheer, and risk fouling the anchor.