Meaning of SHOULDER in English


I. shoul ‧ der 1 S2 W2 /ˈʃəʊldə $ ˈʃoʊldər/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sculdor ]

1 . BODY PART [countable] one of the two parts of the body at each side of the neck where the arm is connected:

She tapped the driver on the shoulder.

He put his arm around her shoulders.

His shoulders were broad and powerful.

2 . CLOTHES [countable] the part of a piece of clothing that covers your shoulders:

a jacket with padded shoulders

3 . MEAT [uncountable and countable] the upper part of the front leg of an animal that is used for meat

shoulder of

a shoulder of pork

4 . be looking over your shoulder to feel worried that something unpleasant is going to happen to you

5 .

a) a shoulder to cry on someone who gives you sympathy:

Ben is always there when I need a shoulder to cry on.

b) cry on sb’s shoulder to get sympathy from someone when you tell them your problems

6 . shoulder to shoulder

a) having the same aims and wanting to achieve the same thing SYN side by side

shoulder to shoulder with

We are working shoulder to shoulder with local residents.

b) physically close together SYN side by side :

Blacks and whites stood shoulder to shoulder in the stands to applaud.

7 . on sb’s shoulders if blame or a difficult job falls on someone’s shoulders, they have to take responsibility for it:

The blame rests squarely on Jim’s shoulders.

8 . put your shoulder to the wheel to start to work with great effort and determination

9 . ROAD-SIDE [countable] American English an area of ground beside a road, where drivers can stop their cars if they are having trouble ⇨ ↑ hard shoulder , ↑ soft shoulder

10 . CURVED SHAPE [countable] a rounded part just below the top of something

⇨ give somebody the cold shoulder at ↑ cold 1 (7), ⇨ have a chip on your shoulder at ↑ chip 1 (5), ⇨ be/stand head and shoulders above the rest at ↑ head 1 (29), ⇨ rub shoulders with at ↑ rub 1 (5), ⇨ straight from the shoulder at ↑ straight 1 (10)

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■ verbs

▪ shrug your shoulders (=raise them to show that you do not know or care about something)

Susan just shrugged her shoulders and said nothing.

▪ hunch your shoulders (=raise your shoulders and bend them forwards slightly)

He hunched his shoulders against the rain.

▪ look/glance over your shoulder (=look behind you)

He glanced over his shoulder and grinned at me.

▪ sb’s shoulders shake (=because they are crying or laughing)

His shoulders were shaking and tears of laughter were running down his face.

▪ sb’s shoulders slump/droop/sag (=move downwards because they are sad or tired)

‘You 're right,’ he sighed, his shoulders drooping.

▪ sb’s shoulders heave (=move up and down because they are crying or breathing deeply)

She turned her back again, her shoulders heaving, her eyes blind with tears.

▪ straighten/square your shoulders (=stand with your shoulders straight, in a determined way)

She squared her shoulders and knocked on the door.

■ adjectives

▪ broad/wide

He was of medium height, with broad shoulders.

▪ strong/powerful

He had powerful shoulders and a thick neck.

▪ massive/huge

Dean shrugged his massive shoulders.

▪ narrow/slim

Her dark hair spilled over her narrow shoulders.

▪ thin/bony shoulders

She put her arm around the girl’s thin shoulders.

II. shoulder 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . shoulder the responsibility/duty/cost/burden etc to accept a difficult or unpleasant responsibility, duty etc:

The residents are being asked to shoulder the costs of the repairs.

2 . [transitive] to lift something onto your shoulder to carry it:

They shouldered the boat and took it down to the river.

3 . shoulder your way through/into etc to move through a large crowd of people by pushing with your shoulder:

He ran after her, shouldering his way through the crowd.

4 . shoulder arms an order given to soldiers telling them to hold their weapon against their shoulder

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■ nouns

▪ shoulder a responsibility

The coach shoulders the responsibility for winning and losing.

▪ shoulder a burden

Many women do paid work and also shoulder the burden of childcare.

▪ shoulder the blame

Parents are being made to shoulder the blame.

▪ shoulder the cost

The government has decided to shoulder the extra cost itself.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.