shoal
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ʃəʊl/, /ʃɒʊl/
Adjective

shoal

  1. (now rare) Shallow.
    shoal water
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, III.19:
      But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, / And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, / His port lay on the other side o' the isle.
Noun

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. A sandbank or sandbar creating a shallow.
    • The god himself with ready trident stands, / And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands, / Then heaves them off the shoals.
  2. A shallow in a body of water.
    • The depth of your pond should be six feet; and on the sides some shoals for the fish to lay their spawn.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory, / And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour.
Synonyms Translations
  • French: banc de sable
  • German: Sandbank
  • Italian: secca, banco di sabbia
  • Portuguese: banco de areia
  • Russian: мелково́дье
  • Spanish: bajío, bajo, banco de arena
Verb

shoal (shoals, present participle shoaling; past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To arrive at a shallow (or less deep) area.
  2. To cause a shallowing; to come to a more shallow part of.
    • A ship shoals her water by advancing into that which is less deep.
  3. To become shallow.
    The colour of the water shows where it shoals.
1570, presumably from Middle English *schole, from Old English sċeolu, sċolu ("troop or band of people, host, multitude, division of army, school of fish"), from Proto-Germanic *skulō, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelH-. Noun

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. Any large number of persons or things.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Vicissitude of Things
      great shoals of people
  2. (collective) A large number of fish (or other sea creatures) of the same species swimming together.
    • Beneath, a shoal of silver fishes glides.
Synonyms Verb

shoal (shoals, present participle shoaling; past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To collect in a shoal; to throng.
    The fish shoaled about the place.



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