shoal

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʃəʊl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English schold, scholde, from Old English sċeald (shallow), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *skalidaz, past participle of *skaljaną (to go dry, dry up, become shallow), from *skalaz (parched, shallow), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelh₁- (to dry out). Cognate with Low German Scholl (shallow water), German schal (stale, flat, vapid). Compare shallow.

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

shoal (comparative more shoal, superlative most shoal)

  1. (now rare) Shallow.
    shoal water
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, III.19:
      But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, / And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, / His port lay on the other side o' the isle.

Noun[edit]

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. A sandbank or sandbar creating a shallow.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The god himself with ready trident stands, / And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands, / Then heaves them off the shoals.
  2. A shallow in a body of water.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

shoal (third-person singular simple present shoals, present participle shoaling, simple past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To arrive at a shallow (or less deep) area.
  2. To cause a shallowing; to come to a more shallow part of.
    • (Can we date this quote by Marryat and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A ship shoals her water by advancing into that which is less deep.
  3. To become shallow.
    The colour of the water shows where it shoals.

Etymology 2[edit]

1570, presumably from Middle English *schole (school of fish), from Old English sċeolu, sċolu (troop or band of people, host, multitude, division of army, school of fish), from Proto-Germanic *skulō (crowd), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelH- (to divide, split, separate). Cognate with West Frisian skoal (shoal), Middle Low German schōle (multitude, troop), Dutch school (shoal of fishes).

Noun[edit]

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. Any large number of persons or things.
    • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      great shoals of people
  2. (collective) A large number of fish (or other sea creatures) of the same species swimming together.
    • (Can we date this quote by Waller and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Beneath, a shoal of silver fishes glides.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

shoal (third-person singular simple present shoals, present participle shoaling, simple past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To collect in a shoal; to throng.
    The fish shoaled about the place.

Anagrams[edit]