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
2 : oarsman

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

oarsman, rower, sculler

Synonyms: Verb

paddle, row, scull

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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

Demo mountain bikes on the indoor dirt trail, scale the climbing wall or even dip an oar or two into Lake Michigan! Web Behrens, chicagotribune.com, "15 things to do with the kids July 8-14," 7 July 2019 Later, grab an oar for a rafting expedition down the Snake River. National Geographic, "National Parks Family Journey: Yellowstone and Grand Teton," 12 June 2019 Boats the size of the Magestic must moor more than one hundred yards out, as a flotilla of dinghies, rowed from the stern with a single oar, ferry goods to the dock. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 Her mother held it down with an oar while her father dispatched it with the swing of an ax. James Mcwilliams, Outside Online, "The Town That Lives with Rattlesnakes," 10 June 2019 And there might have been others who felt that arranging their own contract was too burdensome and still others who just aren’t paying attention and don’t really have an oar in the water. Joe Soucheray, Twin Cities, "Soucheray: Trash-collection ruling is a lesson for St. Paul, but city isn’t listening," 8 June 2019 When working on jams, riverjacks always have nearby a bateau—a double-prow, flat-bottom boat 32 feet long, six feet wide, manned by two men with oars and two others with long poles. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 His left hand rests on the ground and his right hand on a block and a bit closer to his hip, to help mimic the angle of the oar. Jillian Berman, WSJ, "A Model Gondolier With a Relentless Regimen," 20 Oct. 2018 When the wind blew favorably, the crew would have hoisted a square sail on the mast; the rest of the time, rowers would have lined up on the benches and propelled the ship along with large oars. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "This ancient Greek ship is the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered," 24 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near oar

O and R

O Antiphon

OAP

oar

oarage

oared shrew

oar feather

Statistics for oar

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oar

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

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More Definitions for oar

oar

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on oar

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oar

Spanish Central: Translation of oar

Nglish: Translation of oar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oar

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