oar

noun
\ ˈȯr How to pronounce oar (audio) \

Definition of oar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long pole with a broad blade at one end used for propelling or steering a boat

oar

verb
oared; oaring; oars

Definition of oar (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to progress by or as if by using oars

transitive verb

: to propel with or as if with oars : row

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Other Words from oar

Noun

oared \ ˈȯrd How to pronounce oared (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for oar

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of oar in a Sentence

Noun “All oars ho!” the boatswain ordered Verb since the wind had completely died, they had to oar the sailboat back to shore
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a world increasingly divided into Greenleafs and Ripleys, surely there are more than a few of us who have wished to wield a figurative oar at those who fail upward, buoyed by Daddy’s money, tax loopholes and prep-school connections. Megan O’grady, New York Times, "How ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ Foretold Our Era of Grifting," 12 Nov. 2020 The mastermind behind Donald Trump's Ukraine imbroglio is now sticking his oar in this autumn's presidential debates. Stephen Collinson With Caitlin Hu And Vedika Sud, CNN, "Presidential debates and Modi's China challenge," 23 June 2020 Equipment like canoes, life jackets and oars are all sprayed down and sanitized after each use. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "'It’s not the same, Mama’: As summer camps open in Anchorage, kids and staff adapt to pandemic restrictions," 3 June 2020 There are only the sounds of shouts far across the water and now and then the echoed thunk of an oar on a boat hull. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, "In the staycation era, the art of deliberate escape," 21 May 2020 The resulting coins were spent buying Macedonian pine to make oars to power the triremes, the most advanced naval fighting ships the world had yet seen. Mark Munn, The Conversation, "Massive spending in a crisis brought bloody consequences in ancient Athens," 17 Apr. 2020 To pull the oars, all able-bodied Athenian men, including knights who normally did not serve in the navy, were called up. Mark Munn, The Conversation, "Massive spending in a crisis brought bloody consequences in ancient Athens," 17 Apr. 2020 Many models provide a mount to add a trolling motor and adjustable seats and oar locks. The Editors, Field & Stream, "How To Pick The Best Belly Boat," 3 Apr. 2020 Some waters were simply marked off limits, so people didn’t fish there or were blocked by fences. Boaters floating down rivers with barbed wire fences strewn across got used to using their oars to lift up the wires, skirting underneath. Christine Peterson, Outdoor Life, "Lawyers, Trout, and Money—The Crazy Story Behind the Water Access Battle in New Mexico," 13 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mute swans do put on bursts of speed by oaring with their huge webbed feet. National Geographic, "Swans Found to Windsurf Across Water," 19 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oar

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for oar

Noun

Middle English oore, ore, going back to Old English ār, going back to dialectal Germanic *airō (whence Old Norse ár "oar"), of uncertain origin

Note: The presumed etymon *airō is attested only in Scandinavian Germanic and Old English; it is apparently a loanword from Scandinavian into Finnic languages (North Saami áiru "oar," Finnish airo, Estonian aer). The Germanic word has been compared with Greek oíāx "handle of a rudder, tiller" oiḗïon "tiller, rudder," Homeric oíēkes "appurtenance on a yoke," Sanskrit īṣā́ "shaft, thill," Hittite hišša-, Czech oj, Slovene ojệ, ojệsa, all going back to Indo-European *h2(o)iH-s- "pole, shaft" (with the meaning "rudder" apparently secondary in Greek). However, if *airō goes back to *aizō the expected Old Norse outcome would be *eir rather than ār; additionally, the sense shift from "shaft of a cart" to "oar" is not unobjectionable.

Verb

Middle English oren, derivative of ore oar entry 1

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Time Traveler for oar

Time Traveler

The first known use of oar was before the 12th century

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Statistics for oar

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oar. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for oar

oar

noun
How to pronounce oar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oar

: a long pole that is flat and wide at one end and that is used for rowing and steering a boat

oar

noun
\ ˈȯr How to pronounce oar (audio) \

Kids Definition of oar

: a long pole that is flat and wide at one end and that is used for rowing or steering a boat

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Comments on oar

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