\ ˈ(h)wȯrf How to pronounce wharf (audio) \
plural wharves\ ˈ(h)wȯrvz How to pronounce wharves (audio) \ also wharfs

Definition of wharf

1 : 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
2 obsolete : the bank of a river or the shore of the sea

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Examples of wharf in a Sentence

tied the rowboat up at the wharf
Recent Examples on the Web If the business owners can hang on until then, Scott hopes that reopened hotels will draw visitors from Northern California, Oregon and other nearby states to revive the wharf. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, "Pandemic has Fisherman’s Wharf floundering amid hopes locals will replace absent tourists," 5 July 2020 About 80% of rents on the port side of the wharf went uncollected in April, and tourist spots struggle with business down as much as 90%. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: July 6-7," 8 July 2020 On Tchoupitoulas Street, having just left the wharf, the ambulance crashed into a streetcar, tossing the sick patients onto the sidewalk with various streetcar passengers and passersby. Arthur Longworth, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, April 6–12," 12 Apr. 2020 All around the wharf, spilling over into the parking lot, on the grass and even, in some spots, along the Overseas Highway that traverses the Florida Keys, lobster traps are stacked. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "Florida Lobster Got a Break on China Tariffs. Then Came Coronavirus.," 6 Mar. 2020 The rest counts on customers walking up to Monterey Abalone’s shop on the wharf, but those sales have plummeted as well. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Too celebratory for a pandemic, California’s farmed oysters and caviar lose their markets," 24 Apr. 2020 Pioneered by the United States Navy decades ago, the system — essentially a giant plug on the wharf that extends to sockets onboard — lets ships in port turn off their massive diesel engines and draw power from the local electric grid. Lisa M. Collins, New York Times, "How Cruise Ships Bring 1,200 Tons of Toxic Fumes to Brooklyn a Year," 27 Dec. 2019 Walking along the Baltimore wharf one day, Douglass stopped to help two Irish dockworkers unload a ship’s wares. Corey Robin, The New York Review of Books, "What People Power Looks Like in a Pandemic Democracy," 13 Apr. 2020 Hundreds of people swarmed Marsh Harbour’s wharf at the port on Friday after having heard rumors that ferry boats would arrive to evacuate people. Kirk Semple, New York Times, "On Dorian-Battered Island, What’s Left? Virtually Nothing," 6 Sep. 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for wharf

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

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Time Traveler for wharf

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wharf

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wharf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wharf. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for wharf


How to pronounce wharf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wharf

: a flat structure that is built along the shore of a river, ocean, etc., so that ships can load and unload cargo or passengers


\ ˈhwȯrf How to pronounce wharf (audio) , ˈwȯrf \
plural wharves\ ˈhwȯrvz , ˈwȯrvz \ also wharfs

Kids Definition of wharf

: a structure built on the shore for loading and unloading ships

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More from Merriam-Webster on wharf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wharf

Spanish Central: Translation of wharf

Nglish: Translation of wharf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wharf

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