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

Other Words from shoulder

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for shoulder

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The business users that keep running during the highest spikes shoulder more to fill the gap. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 14 Aug. 2022 The former Boston College pitcher returned to the majors on Monday after an absence of 418 days because of a series of shoulder injuries and went 4⅔ innings for the Reds. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Aug. 2022 Simon won that job while playing through a shoulder that required surgery. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 13 Aug. 2022 That’s the idea behind the Filly press, a shoulder-press variation named for the coach. Andrew Heffernan, Men's Health, 12 Aug. 2022 The Rio Top from Feline Swim made of sustainable deadstock fabric features adjustable shoulder straps with a back tie to keep the chest secure. Seventeen, 12 Aug. 2022 Robert Dugger, placed on the 15-day IL earlier this week with right shoulder pain, isn’t expected to throw for at least a few more days because of soreness. The Enquirer, 12 Aug. 2022 These can include lower back, spine, knee, and shoulder injuries from repetitive activities. Kat Friedrich, Popular Mechanics, 11 Aug. 2022 When to Go: Congaree is a shoulder-season park; the most moderate temperatures are enjoyed in spring (43 to 83 degrees) and fall (42 to 85 degrees), and winter (34 to 60 degrees) tends to be mild and a great time to escape crowds. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 11 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet somehow, Tiyon always seems to find out and shoulder the responsibility. Alexis Cubit, The Courier-Journal, 15 Aug. 2022 The legislation will double previous state support for government subsidies that help families shoulder part or all of their child care costs. Maysoon Khan, ajc, 31 July 2022 Local governments, which shoulder much of the expense for education, healthcare and other services in China, were already struggling with high debt loads and unsustainable expenses as 2022 began. Wall Street Journal Staff, WSJ, 31 July 2022 The legislation will double previous state support for government subsidies that help families shoulder part or all of their child care costs. Maysoon Khan, Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2022 Often lost in Second Amendment debates are the survivors who shoulder the burden of unimaginable pain and repercussions from being shot. Barbara Davidson, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Researchers have estimated that the drought last year caused California’s agriculture industry to shrink by about 8,700 jobs and shoulder $1.2 billion in direct costs as water cutbacks forced growers to leave cropland dry. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 Having played in just 17 games over the last three seasons thanks to shoulder and knee injuries, Baxter is a total wild card entering 2022-23. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 July 2022 Filla said that Armstrong, who's been charged with one count of homicide and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, had cut her hair to shoulder length and dyed it dark brown at some point during her 43 days on the run. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, 4 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About shoulder

Time Traveler for shoulder

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near shoulder

should-be

shoulder

shoulder arm

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shoulder

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shoulder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoulder. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for shoulder

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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