Entries linking to broadsheet
Old English brad "wide, not narrow," also "flat, open, extended," from Proto-Germanic *braidi- (source also of Old Frisian bred, Old Norse breiðr, Dutch breed, German breit, Gothic brouþs), which is of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic languages. There is no clear distinction in sense from wide. Of day or daylight, late 14c.; of speech or accents, 1530s. Related: Broadly; broadness.
[length of cloth] Old English sciete (West Saxon), scete (Mercian) "length of cloth, covering, napkin, towel, shroud," from Proto-Germanic *skautjon-, from *skauta- "project" (source also of Old Norse skaut, Gothic skauts "seam, hem of a garment;" Dutch schoot; German Schoß "bosom, lap"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw."
By mid-13c. as "large square or rectangular piece of linen or cotton spread over a bed next to the sleeper." The sense of "oblong or square piece of paper," especially one suitable for writing or printing on, is recorded by c. 1500; that of "any broad, flat, relatively thin surface" (of metal, open water, etc.) is from 1590s. Of a continuous sweep of falling rain from 1690s. Meaning "a newspaper" is recorded by 1749.
Sheet lightning, caused by cloud reflection, is attested from 1794; sheet music is from 1857. Between the sheets "in bed" (usually with sexual overtones) is attested from 1590s (played upon in "Much Ado"); to be white as a sheet is from 1751. The first element in sheet-anchor (late 15c.), one used only in emergencies, appears to be a different word, of unknown origin, perhaps with some connection to shoot (v.) on the notion of being "shot out."
updated on August 14, 2022