Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of shoulder
Meaning of shoulder by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English sholder, shulder, schulder, from Old English sculdor, sculdra ( “shoulder” ), from West Germanic *skuldra ( “shoulder” ), of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to Proto-Germanic *skelduz ( “shield” ), see shield. Cognate with Old Frisian skuldere ( “shoulder” ), Middle Low German scholder ( “shoulder” ), Dutch schouder ( “shoulder” ), German Schulter ( “shoulder” ) .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈʃəʊldə/, X-SAMPA: /"S@Uld@/
    • ( US ) enPR: shōlʹdər, IPA: /ˈʃoʊldɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"SoUld@`/
    • Rhymes: -əʊldə( r )


    shoulder ( plural: shoulders )

    1. ( anatomy ) The joint between the arm and the torso, sometimes including the surrounding area .
      The parrot was sitting on Steve's shoulder .
    2. A part of a road where drivers may stop in an emergency; a hard shoulder .
      He stopped the car on the shoulder of the highway to change the flat tire .
    3. A cut of meat comprised of the upper joint of the foreleg and the surrounding muscle .
    4. The portion of a garment where the shoulder is clothed .
    5. The portion of a hill or mountain just below the peak .
    6. The lateral protrusion of a hill or mountain .
    7. ( printing ) The flat portion of type that is below the bevelled portion that joins up with the face .
    8. ( music ) The rounded portion of stringed instrument where the neck joins the body .
    9. The rounded portion of a bottle where the neck meets the body .


    shoulder ( third-person singular simple present shoulders present participle shouldering, simple past and past participle shouldered )

    1. ( transitive ) To push ( a person or thing ) using one's shoulder .
      As they the earth would shoulder from her seat. — Spenser .
      Around her numberless the rabble flowed, / Shouldering each other, crowding for a view. — Rowe .
    2. ( transitive ) To carry ( something ) on one's shoulders .
    3. ( figuratively, transitive ) To accept responsibility for .
      shoulder the blame

Explanation of shoulder by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. push with the shoulders

    2. He shouldered his way into the crowd
    3. carry a burden, either real or metaphoric

    4. shoulder the burden
    5. lift onto one's shoulders

    1. a narrow edge of land ( usually unpaved ) along the side of a road

    2. the car pulled off onto the shoulder
    3. the part of a garment that covers or fits over the shoulder

    4. an ornamental gold braid on the shoulder of his uniform
    5. the part of the body between the neck and the upper arm

    6. a ball-and-socket joint between the head of the humerus and a cavity of the scapula

    7. a cut of meat including the upper joint of the foreleg

    Definition of shoulder by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Shoulder n. [OE. shulder, shuldre, schutder, AS. sculdor; akin to D. schoulder, G. schulter, OHG. scultarra, Dan. skulder, Sw. skuldra.]
      1. ( Anat. ) The joint, or the region of the joint, by which the fore limb is connected with the body or with the shoulder girdle; the projection formed by the bones and muscles about that joint.

      2. The flesh and muscles connected with the shoulder joint; the upper part of the back; that part of the human frame on which it is most easy to carry a heavy burden; -- often used in the plural.

      Then by main force pulled up, and on his shoulders bore

      The gates of Azza. Milton.

      Adown her shoulders fell her length of hair. Dryden.

      3. Fig.: That which supports or sustains; support.

      In thy shoulder do I build my seat. Shak.

      4. That which resembles a human shoulder, as any protuberance or projection from the body of a thing.

      The north western shoulder of the mountain. Sir W. Scott.

      5. The upper joint of the fore leg and adjacent parts of an animal, dressed for market; as, “a shoulder of mutton”.

      6. ( Fort. ) The angle of a bastion included between the face and flank. See Illust. of Bastion.

      7. An abrupt projection which forms an abutment on an object, or limits motion, etc., as the projection around a tenon at the end of a piece of timber, the part of the top of a type which projects beyond the base of the raised character, etc.

      Shoulder belt, a belt that passes across the shoulder. -- Shoulder blade ( Anat. ), the flat bone of the shoulder, to which the humerus is articulated; the scapula. -- Shoulder block ( Naut. ), a block with a projection, or shoulder, near the upper end, so that it can rest against a spar without jamming the rope. -- Shoulder clapper, one who claps another on the shoulder, or who uses great familiarity. [Obs.] Shak. -- Shoulder girdle. ( Anat. ) See Pectoral girdle, under Pectoral. -- Shoulder knot, an ornamental knot of ribbon or lace worn on the shoulder; a kind of epaulet or braided ornament worn as part of a military uniform. -- Shoulder-of-mutton sail ( Naut. ), a triangular sail carried on a boat's mast; -- so called from its shape. -- Shoulder slip, dislocation of the shoulder, or of the humerous. Swift. -- Shoulder strap, a strap worn on or over the shoulder. Specifically ( Mil. & Naval ), a narrow strap worn on the shoulder of a commissioned officer, indicating, by a suitable device, the rank he holds in
      the service. See Illust. in App.

    2. Shoulder v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shouldered ; p. pr. & vb. n. Shouldering.]
      1. To push or thrust with the shoulder; to push with violence; to jostle.

      As they the earth would shoulder from her seat. Spenser.

      Around her numberless the rabble flowed,

      Shouldering each other, crowding for a view. Rowe.

      2. To take upon the shoulder or shoulders; as, “to shoulder a basket”; hence, to assume the burden or responsibility of; as, “to shoulder blame; to shoulder a debt.”

      As if Hercules

      Or burly Atlas shouldered up their state. Marston.

      Right shoulder arms ( Mil. ), a position in the Manual of Arms which the piece is placed on the right shoulder, with the lock plate up, and the muzzle elevated and inclined to the left, and held as in the illustration.

    3. Shoulder, v. i. To push with the shoulder; to make one's way, as through a crowd, by using the shoulders; to move swaying the shoulders from side to side.

      A yoke of the great sulky white bullocks . . . came shouldering along together. Kipling.