1

oar

noun \ ˈȯr \
Updated on: 21 Apr 2018

Definition of oar

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

oared

play \ˈȯrd\ adjective

Examples of oar in a Sentence

  1. “All oars ho!” the boatswain ordered

Recent Examples of oar from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of oar

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.

oar Synonyms

Synonyms

oarsman, rower, sculler;

Other Nautical Terms


2

oar

verb

Definition of oar

: to progress by or as if by using oars
: to propel with or as if with oars : row

Examples of oar in a Sentence

  1. since the wind had completely died, they had to oar the sailboat back to shore

Recent Examples of oar from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of oar

Middle English oren, derivative of ore 1oar

oar Synonyms

Synonyms

paddle, row, scull;

Related Words

canoe, kayak;

pole, punt;

feather, pull;

Other Nautical Terms



OAR Defined for English Language Learners

oar

Definition of oar for English Language Learners

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


OAR Defined for Kids

oar

noun \ ˈȯr \

Definition of oar for Students

: 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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