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

The design was reconfigured so the wharf could be easily raised. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Climate’s Big Unknown: What’s Happening Beneath Antarctica’s Ice?," 29 Dec. 2018 Skehel points out that there are more private jets at the airport, and a quick scan of the wharf yields gaggle of gleaming yachts. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "Inside Hotel Pippa, the Buzziest New Place to Stay on Nantucket," 1 Aug. 2018 Newport, Rhode Island Newport is practically synonymous with tony New England, where sailboats dot the harbor and the well-heeled explore the cobbled shopping wharves. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Towns in America," 21 Sep. 2018 Curators point out that the details of tidy, sturdy New Bedford are verifiable: boats, piers, houses, wharves, churches and landscape. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Sailing the Globe in a Gallery," 3 Aug. 2018 The new law does this by blocking state land managers from permitting the construction of new pipelines, piers, wharves or other infrastructure projects necessary to bring oil and gas from offshore drilling sites to land. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "California vs. Trump: New state laws take on climate change and White House energy agenda," 12 Sep. 2018 The city’s wharves whisper of tea parties, its libraries of literary greats, and its ballpark of curses broken. Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Things to Do in Boston," 2 Aug. 2018 In 1870, the first mayor of Seattle is elected: Henry Atkins, a pile driver who helped build docks and wharves on Puget Sound. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "A tiny-house village for women opens in Seattle, and wildfire season arrives with the nice weather | Wednesday Morning Brief, July 11," 11 July 2018 Jackson said the full extent of the damage to the wharf is still being assessed, but said the crash left a few pilings cracked. Marie Simoneaux, NOLA.com, "Tugboat catches fire in Mississippi River near Poland Avenue Wharf," 7 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near wharf






wharf boat

wharf borer

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Time Traveler for wharf

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

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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

Comments on wharf

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a tendency to relapse

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