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[skuhl] /skʌl/
an oar mounted on a fulcrum at the stern of a small boat and moved from side to side to propel the boat forward.
either of a pair of oars rowed by one rower.
a boat propelled by an oar or oars.
a light, narrow racing boat for one, two, or sometimes four rowers, each equipped with a pair of oars.
sculls, a race involving such boats.
verb (used with object)
to propel or convey by means of a scull or sculls.
verb (used without object)
to propel a boat with a scull or sculls.
Origin of scull
1300-50; Middle English sculle < ?
Related forms
sculler, noun
Can be confused
scull, skull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sculled
Historical Examples
  • I think it probable I sculled away from the spot, as there was nothing to guide me.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The ‘Gull Lightship’ was not far off, so we sculled to her in the dingey.

  • I had steamed it down the Mississippi, and sculled it up the Orinoco.

    The Rifle Rangers Captain Mayne Reid
  • I got the dingy out, and was sculled quietly down by one of the men.

  • He sculled the punt to the little cove by the Head, and there loaded her with rocks.

  • Seizing the gig's bow, he pushed her off and got on board while Wyndham sculled her round.

    Wyndham's Pal Harold Bindloss
  • The san-pan was then sculled alongside, and her passengers taken on board.

  • Andrew sculled the Rowan into the channel, and presently dropped the anchor.

    Johnstone of the Border Harold Bindloss
  • But I had sculled through the narrows of the passage before he could reach it.

    Foe-Farrell Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • And always, when it fell, we sculled fiercely and gained on her, if only a little.

    A Sea Queen's Sailing Charles Whistler
British Dictionary definitions for sculled


a single oar moved from side to side over the stern of a boat to propel it
one of a pair of short-handled oars, both of which are pulled by one oarsman, esp in a racing shell
a racing shell propelled by an oarsman or oarsmen pulling two oars
(pl) a race between racing shells, each propelled by one, two, or four oarsmen pulling two oars
an act, instance, period, or distance of sculling
to propel (a boat) with a scull
Derived Forms
sculler, noun
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sculled



kind of short, light, spoon-bladed oar, mid-14c., of unknown origin. The verb is from 1620s, from the noun. Related: Sculled; sculling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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