Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

shoal1

[shohl]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a place where a sea, river, or other body of water is shallow.
  2. a sandbank or sand bar in the bed of a body of water, especially one that is exposed above the surface of the water at low tide.
Show More
adjective
  1. of little depth, as water; shallow.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to become shallow or more shallow.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to become shallow.
  2. Nautical. to sail so as to lessen the depth of (the water under a vessel).
Show More

Origin of shoal1

before 900; (adj.) Middle English (Scots) shald, Old English sceald shallow; (noun and v.) derivative of the adj.

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. shallow, rapid, riffle. 2. reef.

shoal2

[shohl]
noun
  1. any large number of persons or things.
  2. a school of fish.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to collect in a shoal; throng.
Show More

Origin of shoal2

1570–80; earlier shole, probably < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schōle, with sound-substitution of sh- for Low German skh-; cf. school2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shoaling

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for shoaling

shoal1

noun
  1. a stretch of shallow water
  2. a sandbank or rocky area in a stretch of water, esp one that is visible at low water
Show More
verb
  1. to make or become shallow
  2. (intr) nautical to sail into shallower water
Show More
adjective Also: shoaly
  1. a less common word for shallow
  2. nautical (of the draught of a vessel) drawing little water
Show More
Derived Formsshoaliness, noun

Word Origin

Old English sceald shallow

shoal2

noun
  1. a large group of certain aquatic animals, esp fish
  2. a large group of people or things
Show More
verb
  1. (intr) to collect together in such a group
Show More

Word Origin

Old English scolu; related to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle school ²
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

Word Origin and History for shoaling

shoal

n.1

"place of shallow water," c.1300, from Old English schealde (adj.), from sceald "shallow," from Proto-Germanic *skala- (cf. Swedish skäll "thin;" Low German schol, Frisian skol "not deep"), of uncertain origin. The terminal -d was dropped 16c.

Show More

shoal

n.2

"large number" (especially of fish), 1570s, apparently identical with Old English scolu "band, troop, crowd of fish" (see school (n.2)); but perhaps rather a 16c. adoption of cognate Middle Dutch schole.

Show More

shoal

v.

"assemble in a multitude," c.1600, from shoal (n.2). Related: Shoaled; shoaling.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

shoaling in Science

shoal

[shōl]
  1. A submerged mound or ridge of sediment in a body of shallow water.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.