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


Next Word in the Dictionary: wharfage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: whare
All Words Near: wharf

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up wharf? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).