oar

noun
\ˈȯr \

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 \ 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

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 Every fiber in every muscle was firing for one unified purpose: to sync our oars and pull the boat across the water. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "Rowing Is a Full-Body Workout You Can Do at Any Age," 23 June 2017 There’s an oar from the University of Minnesota football team, a note from the Seahawks’ general manager and 20,000 wristbands stuffed in boxes, each stamped with a red number 3 and two words: Hilinski’s Hope. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "A College QB's Suicide. A Family's Search for Answers.," 26 June 2018 Senior Sophie Schulz, the Cardinals' fastest rower, had never picked up an oar before walking on to the team as a freshman. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "I tried to row with the Louisville Cardinals and nearly broke the boat," 11 May 2018 All vessels must be powered by captain or crew with homemade oars. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: July 2-8," 2 July 2018 In a June 5 celebration, resort officials and his fellow employees honored his newfound fame by presenting him with a plaque and an authentic gondola oar fashioned into a hockey stick. Jay Jones, latimes.com, "Venetian's gondolier keeps a song in his heart--and on his lips--as he cruises and croons on the Vegas resort's canals," 20 June 2018 Legs pumping with each clockwork stroke of the oars. David Wharton, latimes.com, "Orange Coast crew takes on sport's royalty at Henley regatta in England," 28 June 2018 Seated inside a canoe shaped like a giant mythical creature, rowers thrash their oars into the sea, racing to the beat of a drumming captain. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Here's What to Know About Asia's Annual Dragon Boat Festival," 18 June 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

16 Nov 2018

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 \

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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