plural wharves ˈ(h)wȯrvz How to pronounce wharf (audio) also wharfs
: a structure built along or at an angle from the shore of navigable waters so that ships may lie alongside to receive and discharge cargo and passengers
obsolete : the bank of a river or the shore of the sea

Examples of wharf in a Sentence

tied the rowboat up at the wharf
Recent Examples on the Web Attendees will gain insight into the cultural history of the wharf and surrounding neighborhoods. Brittany Delay, The Mercury News, 17 May 2024 The waterfront is especially striking, with its historic red wharf and peaceful view of Penn Cove. Zoe Baillargeon, Travel + Leisure, 10 May 2024 From having difficulty in getting unchained from the wharf to then getting stuck in the mud due to shallow water, and finally losing steam from low boiler pressure, the Belle failed to catch up to the swifter Queen. Steve Wiser, The Courier-Journal, 20 Apr. 2024 Another officer tried to stop the truck near the Municipal Wharf, but the driver instead drove onto the wharf at a high rate of speed, police said. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 9 Apr. 2024 More officers arrived and began searching the wharf — and then heard yelling from the water. Bay City News, The Mercury News, 9 Apr. 2024 At the time, police were told that a 71-year-old man allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old man at the wharf. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Instead of Burkhard’s grand vision, Baltimore rebuilt the waterfront with wharves, docks and utilitarian warehouses. Fred Shoken, Baltimore Sun, 18 Jan. 2024 An ancient wharf and sacrificial pit In another area of the Tingshan site, experts identified the ruins of an ancient wharf, known as the Linshui Wharf. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 7 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wharf.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English hwearf embankment, wharf; akin to Old English hweorfan to turn, Old High German hwerban, Greek karpos wrist

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of wharf was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near wharf

Cite this Entry

“Wharf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈhwȯrf How to pronounce wharf (audio)
plural wharves ˈhwȯrvz How to pronounce wharf (audio)
also wharfs
: a structure built on the shore at which ships can load and unload

More from Merriam-Webster on wharf

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