shoal

1 of 5

adjective

shoal

2 of 5

noun (1)

1
2
: a sandbank or sandbar that makes the water shallow

shoal

3 of 5

verb (1)

shoaled; shoaling; shoals

intransitive verb

: to become shallow

transitive verb

1
: to come to a shallow or less deep part of
2
: to cause to become shallow or less deep

shoal

4 of 5

noun (2)

: a large group or number : crowd
a shoal of fish

shoal

5 of 5

verb (2)

shoaled; shoaling; shoals

Example Sentences

Adjective shoal waters of the bay meant that our ship had to be moored a considerable distance from shore

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

alteration of Middle English shold, from Old English sceald — more at skeleton

Noun (2)

Middle English *shole, from Old English scolu multitude — more at school

First Known Use

Adjective

circa 1554, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1574, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

1579, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1610, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shoal was circa 1554

Dictionary Entries Near shoal

Cite this Entry

“Shoal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoal. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

shoal

1 of 3 adjective
: shallow entry 1 sense 1
shoal water

shoal

2 of 3 noun
1
: a place where a sea, lake, or river is shallow
2
: a sandbank or sandbar just below the surface of the water

shoal

3 of 3 noun
: school entry 3
a shoal of pilot fish

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