shoulder

noun
shoul·​der | \ ˈshōl-dər How to pronounce shoulder (audio) \

Definition of shoulder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the laterally projecting part of the human body formed of the bones and joints with their covering tissue by which the arm is connected with the trunk
b : the region of the body of nonhuman vertebrates that corresponds to the shoulder but is less projecting
2a : the two shoulders and the upper part of the back usually used in plural
b shoulders plural : capacity for bearing a task or blame placed the guilt squarely on his shoulders
3 : a cut of meat including the upper joint of the foreleg and adjacent parts — see lamb illustration
4 : the part of a garment at the wearer's shoulder
5 : an area adjacent to or along the edge of a higher, more prominent, or more important part: such as
a(1) : the part of a hill or mountain near the top
(2) : a lateral protrusion or extension of a hill or mountain
b : either edge of a roadway specifically : the part of a roadway outside of the traveled way
6 : a rounded or sloping part (as of a stringed instrument or a bottle) where the neck joins the body

shoulder

verb
shouldered; shouldering\ ˈshōl-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce shoulder (audio) \

Definition of shoulder (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to push or thrust with or as if with the shoulder : jostle shouldered his way through the crowd
2a : to place or bear on the shoulder shouldered her knapsack
b : to assume the burden or responsibility of shoulder the blame

intransitive verb

: to push with or as if with the shoulders aggressively

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Other Words from shoulder

Noun

shouldered \ ˈshōl-​dərd How to pronounce shoulder (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for shoulder

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of shoulder in a Sentence

Noun He rested the baby's head on his shoulder. He grabbed my shoulder and turned me around. She carried a backpack on one shoulder. The horse is five feet high at the shoulder. We had pork shoulder for dinner. Verb He shouldered the blame for the project's failure. The company will shoulder the costs of the repairs. She shouldered the full burden of raising three children. He shouldered the door open. She shouldered through the crowd. She shouldered her way through the crowd. The soldiers shouldered their rifles and marched away.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Miami safety Bubba Bolden believes the Hurricanes defense has a huge chip on its shoulder entering this upcoming season. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, 21 July 2021 His statue outside Great American Ball Park portrays Kluszewski standing with his bat on his shoulder wearing the sleeveless jersey. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, 14 July 2021 Standing in the crowd with the U.S. flag perched on his shoulder, David Brewer of Victorville said he was drawn to Elder's life story — a climb to success from modest beginnings — and his willingness to challenge Democrats, particularly on schools. Michael R. Blood And Kathleen Ronayne, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 In my view, this is likely in part due to the yoke of political correctness placed on our shoulder making freedom of speech more of an illusion than a reality. Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2021 Joshua Doolin, 22, carries a flagpole on his shoulder and advances up the steps, pointing the pole at officers before he is turned back by chemical spray. Cassidy Mcdonald, CBS News, 8 July 2021 Don't think that people didn't try to tap me on my shoulder. Marcus Jones, EW.com, 7 July 2021 Hobson also bit the woman on shoulder, the criminal complaint said. al, 6 July 2021 Former Arizona State basketball standout Remy Martin has always been at his best when playing with a chip on his shoulder. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 6 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many young students were learning online with little supervision, while some older students had to shoulder greater family responsibilities, Gonzalez said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 July 2021 Under cross-examination by Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect’s back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control. chicagotribune.com, 7 Apr. 2021 Under cross-examination by Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect’s back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Apr. 2021 Under cross-examination by Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect’s back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control. Fox News, 7 Apr. 2021 Under cross-examination by Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained to use their knee across a person's back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control. Amy Forliti, Star Tribune, 6 Apr. 2021 Under cross-examination by Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect’s back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control. Amy Forliti, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Apr. 2021 He had been stabbed four times on the right side of his upper back and shoulder. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, 31 Mar. 2021 The only source of propulsion is a handheld inflatable sail Bertish will have to shoulder from the small deck of the craft, making his upright body, in effect, the main mast of his vessel. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shoulder.' 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 shoulder

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shoulder

Noun

Middle English sholder, from Old English sculdor; akin to Old High German scultra shoulder

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Time Traveler for shoulder

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shoulder

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shoulder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoulder. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for shoulder

shoulder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shoulder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of your body where your arm is connected
: the part of an animal's body where a front leg is connected
: a cut of meat from the shoulder of an animal

shoulder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shoulder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to deal with or accept (something) as your responsibility or duty
: to push (something) with your shoulder
: to move forward by pushing through something with the shoulders

shoulder

noun
shoul·​der | \ ˈshōl-dər How to pronounce shoulder (audio) \

Kids Definition of shoulder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the part of the body of a person or animal where the arm or foreleg joins the body
2 : the part of a piece of clothing that covers a person's shoulder
3 : a part that resembles a person's shoulder in shape the shoulder of a hill
4 : the edge of a road

shoulder

verb
shouldered; shouldering

Kids Definition of shoulder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to push with the shoulder He shouldered his way through the crowd.
2 : to accept as a burden or duty You must shoulder the blame.

shoulder

noun
shoul·​der | \ ˈshōl-dər How to pronounce shoulder (audio) \

Medical Definition of shoulder

1 : the laterally projecting part of the human body formed of the bones and joints with their covering tissue by which the arm is connected with the trunk
2 : the two shoulders and the upper part of the back usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on shoulder

Nglish: Translation of shoulder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shoulder for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shoulder

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