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

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Example Sentences

tied the rowboat up at the wharf
Recent Examples on the Web The family also owns two additional cottages on the wharf. WSJ, 11 Aug. 2022 There were no trees in sight at the wharf to offer any shade. Elinda Labropoulou, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Islesford Dock Restaurant and Gallery, on the Little Cranberry Island wharf, involves a trip aboard the Beal and Bunker ferry or a water taxi. Virginia M. Wright, Outside Online, 8 Feb. 2021 At the southwestern end of the promenade lies a former fishing industry wharf now redeveloped as a public waterfront neighborhood with restaurants, bars and wooden piers. David Nikel, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 Some years later a new stage moved the music closer to the wharf where the Mayflower II ties up. Robert Knox,, 13 July 2022 In June, the wharf was stacked high with lobster traps tinging the breeze with the faint reek of their latest catch. Murray Whyte,, 4 Aug. 2022 Friday night in Sag Harbor, a group of highly-colorful guests descended on the town’s wharf to board a beautiful boat for a sunset cruise. Vogue, 24 July 2022 Goddio and others believe the ancient Greek shipwreck was originally moored at a wharf in the canal when the disaster struck. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 20 July 2022 See More

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.

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 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition



ˈhwȯrf How to pronounce wharf (audio)
plural wharves
also wharfs
: a structure built on the shore for loading and unloading ships

More from Merriam-Webster on wharf

Last Updated: 14 Sep 2022

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