ste·​ve·​dore | \ ˈstē-və-ˌdȯr How to pronounce stevedore (audio) also ˈstēv-ˌdȯr \

Definition of stevedore

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who works at or is responsible for loading and unloading ships in port


stevedored; stevedoring

Definition of stevedore (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to handle (cargo) as a stevedore also : to load or unload the cargo of (a ship) in port

intransitive verb

: to work as a stevedore

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for stevedore

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stevedore in a Sentence

Noun on the wharves, stevedores were unloading cargo from the far corners of the world
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mavrinac pushed back, saying the stevedore usually hands a handwritten plan to the crew, and that the crew uses that to account for the cargo present. Natasha Chen, CNN, "New testimony reveals what happened before the Golden Ray capsized off the Georgia coast," 22 Sep. 2020 Simón quickly finds work as a stevedore, hauling sacks of grain. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Unsuitable Passions of J.M. Coetzee," 18 May 2020 The Hellfighters, formally known as the 369th Infantry, began as cooks and stevedores for the French, but moved to the front to fight, often with valor, as French forces were depleted. National Geographic, "How is a 'step back' different from abdication?," 13 Jan. 2020 Normandy’s Negroes, serving in mostly segregated units, worked under fire instead as stevedores and as antiaircraft men who ran up barrage balloons to frustrate enemy air strikes at the beaches. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "What’s the Most Accurate D-Day Movie? Here’s What 3 Movies Got Right—and Wrong," 5 June 2019 In Panama City, Josh West, a 39-year-old stevedore, rode out the hurricane at his home with his roommate and daughter. Jon Kamp And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Michael Blasts Deadly Path Across Several Southern States," 11 Oct. 2018 Crispus Attucks, a former slave, and stevedore of whose father was African and whose mother Native American. Byron Mccauley,, "Black History Month from the perspective of a German-Irish dad raising African-American kids," 20 Feb. 2018 These days, those vacancies increasingly mean jobs for software professionals, not stevedores or steel workers, the working-class aristocracy that once reigned along the banks of the Ruhr., "Merkel’s Fourth Term Now Rides on Germany’s Changing Rust Belt," 8 Feb. 2018 It was supposed to be a short visit with her father, Kweku, who was living in Rockville, Md., working as a stevedore. Richard Demak,, "What to Watch: TV Times For the 2018 Winter Olympics Schedule Highlights," 6 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stevedore.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stevedore


1788, in the meaning defined above


1862, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for stevedore


Spanish estibador, from estibar to pack — more at steeve

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stevedore

Time Traveler for stevedore

Time Traveler

The first known use of stevedore was in 1788

See more words from the same year

Statistics for stevedore

Cite this Entry

“Stevedore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stevedore


How to pronounce stevedore (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stevedore

: a person whose job is to load and unload ships at a port

More from Merriam-Webster on stevedore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stevedore

Nglish: Translation of stevedore for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stevedore

What made you want to look up stevedore? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!