noun \ˈhwrf, ˈwrf\

: a flat structure that is built along the shore of a river, ocean, etc., so that ships can load and unload cargo or passengers

plural wharves \ˈhwrvz, ˈwrvz\ also wharfs

Full Definition of WHARF

:  a structure built along or at an angle from the shore of navigable waters so that ships may lie alongside to receive and discharge cargo and passengers
obsolete :  the bank of a river or the shore of the sea

Examples of WHARF

  1. <tied the rowboat up at the wharf>

Origin of WHARF

Middle English, from Old English hwearf embankment, wharf; akin to Old English hweorfan to turn, Old High German hwerban, Greek karpos wrist
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Transportation Terms

camber, corduroy, demurrage, milestone
WHARF Defined for Kids


noun \ˈhwrf, ˈwrf\
plural wharves \ˈhwrvz, ˈwrvz\ also wharfs

Definition of WHARF for Kids

:  a structure built on the shore for loading and unloading ships


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