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 shouldering (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 shouldered (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 Calling too little at a time when being more aggressive might turn the table in your favor may decrease your chances of walking out of the woods with a bird over your shoulder. Matt Wettish, Outdoor Life, "9 Rules For Hunting Roosted Gobblers," 5 Feb. 2020 An hour upstream of Nueva Unión, Andueza’s boatman, José Inuma Macusi, shut his engine, grabbed his machete and leaped onto a dirt bank, slinging a single-barrel shotgun over his shoulder. Daniel Grossman, Scientific American, "Peru’s Peatlands Could Greatly Accelerate Global Warming," 5 Feb. 2020 The driver of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bus pulled off onto the shoulder, where some of those aboard led the killer off the vehicle, and he was quickly taken into custody, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Washington Post, "1 dead, 5 wounded in shooting on Greyhound bus in California," 4 Feb. 2020 The driver of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bus pulled off onto the shoulder, where some of those aboard led the killer off the vehicle, and he was quickly taken into custody, California Highway Patrol Sergeant Brian Pennings said. Stefanie Dazio, BostonGlobe.com, "1 dead, 5 wounded in shooting on Greyhound bus in California," 3 Feb. 2020 But leave it to Yungblud, who carried his studded leather jacket over his shoulder, to sum up the night. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "At Universal Music Group's Post-Grammys Party, Billie Eilish Was the Woman of the Hour," 27 Jan. 2020 Designed to be multi-use, the Go-Bag can be carried by its shorter handles like a traditional duffel, slung over your shoulder, or worn as a backpack thanks to detachable and adjustable shoulder straps. Condé Nast Traveler, "Baboon to the Moon's Limited Edition Dog-Print Duffel Is Almost Sold Out," 24 Jan. 2020 LaTray, 47, wears a long black braid over her shoulder, silver hoop earrings, vest and kerchief, and square-toed cowboy boots. National Geographic, "Two visions collide amid push to restore Montana plains," 16 Jan. 2020 The tension and anticipation in the pose, with the sling lying in wait over David's shoulder, provide a ready reason for the bulging vein. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "How a Marian University doctor found a medical mystery in Michelangelo's 'David'," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Our investment teams, which traditionally shouldered the mentorship and coaching of entrepreneurs, is enhanced by our platform team. Quartz India, "Karthik Reddy on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 2020 So the good doctor then goes shoulder deep in the CGI dragon’s butthole and starts pulling a bunch of treasures out of it. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "We need to talk about that insane Dolittle ending involving a dragon's clogged butt," 18 Jan. 2020 But over the past few decades, mounting research has quietly shifted some of the attention to individual neurons, which seem to shoulder much more computational responsibility than once seemed imaginable. Quanta Magazine, "Hidden Computational Power Found in the Arms of Neurons," 14 Jan. 2020 The planets push through the icy rubble like a snowplough shouldering its way through a pile of hailstones. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, "Two Interstellar Intruders Are Upending Astronomy," 27 Nov. 2019 Donald Trump's withdrawal from that deal was the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with our ally, Israel against the rest of the world. Fox News, "Senator Lindsey Graham on Trump's foreign policy pushes," 12 May 2018 But Martin had to shoulder the burden offensively with the Sun Devils unable to find another scoring option. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Gritty Arizona State basketball can't overcome Oregon," 12 Jan. 2020 Meantime, tribal courts could shoulder a portion of cases now clogging state criminal courts. Anchorage Daily News, "Six ways to fix Alaska’s law enforcement crisis," 21 Dec. 2019 The reality is that paid leave programs enable small employers to offer this critical benefit without having to shoulder the entire cost. NBC News, "On paid leave, Congress should listen — not just pay lip service — to small employers," 17 Oct. 2019

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shoulder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoulder. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for shoulder

shoulder

noun
How to pronounce shoulder (audio)

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

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Comments on shoulder

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