• (RP) IPA: /ˈʃəʊldə/
  • (America) enPR: shōlʹdər, IPA: /ˈʃoʊldɚ/

shoulder (plural shoulders)

  1. The part of an animal's body between the base of the neck and forearm socket.
    1. The part of the human torso forming a relatively horizontal surface running away from the neck.
      The parrot was sitting on Steve's shoulder.
      • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
        But then I had the flintlock by me for protection. ¶ There were giants in the days when that gun was made; for surely no modern mortal could have held that mass of metal steady to his shoulder. The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window […].
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0025 ↗:
        With just the turn of a shoulder she indicated the water front, where, at the end of the dock on which they stood, lay the good ship, Mount Vernon, river packet, the black smoke already pouring from her stacks. In turn he smiled and also shrugged a shoulder.
    2. (anatomy) The joint between the arm and the torso, sometimes including the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
    3. A cut of meat comprising the upper joint of the foreleg and the surrounding muscle.
    4. The portion of a garment where the shoulder is clothed.
  2. Anything forming a shape resembling a human shoulder.
  3. (topography) A shelf between two levels.
    1. A part of a road where drivers may stop in an emergency; a hard shoulder.
      He stopped the car on the shoulder of the highway to change the flat tire.
    2. The portion of a hill or mountain just below the peak.
      • 1818 July 24, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], Tales of My Landlord, Second Series, [...] In Four Volumes (The Heart of Mid-Lothian), volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed [by James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Company, OCLC 819902302 ↗:
    3. A lateral protrusion of a hill or mountain.
    4. The angle of a bastion included between the face and flank.
    5. An abrupt projection which forms an abutment on an object, or limits motion, etc., such as the projection around a tenon at the end of a piece of timber.
  4. (printing) The flat portion of type that is below the bevelled portion that joins up with the face.
  5. (of an object) The portion between the neck and the body.
    1. (music) The rounded portion of a stringed instrument where the neck joins the body.
    2. The rounded portion of a bottle where the neck meets the body.
    3. (firearms) The angled section between the neck and the main body of a cartridge.
  6. (figurative) That which supports or sustains; support.
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, 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 II, scene vi]:
      In thy shoulder do I build my seat.
  7. The part of a key between the cuts and the bow.
Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: лопа́тка
Translations Translations Verb

shoulder (shoulders, present participle shouldering; past and past participle shouldered)

  1. (transitive) To push (a person or thing) using one's shoulder.
    • As they the earth would shoulder from her seat.
    • Around her numberless the rabble flowed, / Shouldering each other, crowding for a view.
  2. (transitive) To put (something) on one's shoulders.
    • 1922, A. M. Chisholm, A Thousand a Plate
      Early in the morning they shouldered light packs, took their rifles, crossed the big draw, and entered the timber where was the deadfall.
  3. (transitive) To place (something) against one's shoulders.
  4. (transitive, figuratively) To bear a burden, as a financial obligation.
  5. (transitive, figuratively) To accept responsibility for.
    shoulder the blame
  6. (transitive) To form a shape resembling a shoulder.
  7. (intransitive) To move by or as if by using one's shoulders.
    • A yoke of the great sulky white bullocks […] came shouldering along together.
  8. (transitive) To round and slightly raise the top edges of slate shingles so that they form a tighter fit at the lower edge and can be swung aside to expose the nail.
  9. (intransitive) To slope downwards from the crest and whitewater portion of a wave.
  • German: schultern
  • Portuguese: carregar nas costas
  • Portuguese: arcar com

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