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[shawr, shohr] /ʃɔr, ʃoʊr/
a supporting post or beam with auxiliary members, especially one placed obliquely against the side of a building, a ship in drydock, or the like; prop; strut.
verb (used with object), shored, shoring.
to support by or as if by a shore or shores; prop (usually followed by up):
to shore up a roof; government subsidies to shore up falling corn prices.
Origin of shore2
1300-50; (noun) Middle English; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schore prop; (v.) shoren, derivative of the noun
1. brace, buttress, stay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for shore up


the land along the edge of a sea, lake, or wide river related adjective littoral
  1. land, as opposed to water (esp in the phrase on shore)
  2. (as modifier): shore duty
(law) the tract of coastland lying between the ordinary marks of high and low water
(often pl) a country: his native shores
(transitive) to move or drag (a boat) onto a shore
Word Origin
C14: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōre; compare Old High German scorra cliff; see shear


a prop, post, or beam used to support a wall, building, ship in dry dock, etc
(transitive) often foll by up. to prop or make safe with or as if with a shore
Derived Forms
shoring, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch schōre; related to Old Norse skortha prop


(Austral & NZ) a past tense of shear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shore up



"land bordering a large body of water," c.1300, from an Old English word or from Middle Low German schor "shore, coast, headland," or Middle Dutch scorre "land washed by the sea," all probably from Proto-Germanic *skur-o- "cut," from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

According to etymologists originally with a sense of "division" between land and water. But if the word began on the North Sea coast of the continent, it might as well have meant originally "land 'cut off' from the mainland by tidal marshes" (cf. Old Norse skerg "an isolated rock in the sea," related to sker "to cut, shear"). Old English words for "coast, shore" were strand (n.), waroþ, ofer. Few Indo-European languages have such a single comprehensive word for "land bordering water" (Homer uses one word for sandy beaches, another for rocky headlands). General application to "country near a seacoast" is attested from 1610s.


mid-14c., "to prop, support with a prop;" of obscure etymology though widespread in West Germanic; cf. Middle Dutch schooren "to prop up, support," Old Norse skorða (n.) "a piece of timber set up as a support." Related: Shored; shoring. Also as a noun, "post or beam for temporary support of something" (mid-15c.), especially an oblique timber to brace the side of a building or excavation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with shore up

shore up

Support, prop, as in The new law was designed to shore up banks in danger of failure. This expression derives from the noun shore, meaning “prop,” a beam or timber propped against a structure to provide support. The verb shore dates from 1340 and was first recorded in a figurative context in 1581.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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