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[shawr-ing, shohr-]
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  1. a number or system of shores for steadying or supporting a wall, a ship in drydock, etc.
  2. the act of setting up shores.

Origin of shoring

First recorded in 1490–1500; shore2 + -ing1


[shawr, shohr]
  1. 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, shor·ing.
  1. 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


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1. brace, buttress, stay.


[shawr, shohr]
verb (used with object), shored, shor·ing. Scot. and North England.
  1. to threaten (someone).
  2. to offer or proffer (something).

Origin of shore3

1325–75; Middle English (Scots) schore < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shoring

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Works of shoring up, embanking and strengthening were carried out.

  • It is a low-grade ore, I should say, and tunnelling and shoring would eat it up.


    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • MacNutt divided them into gangs and set them to work staying and shoring the remnants of the dam.

    The Boss of Wind River

    David Goodger (goodger@python.org)

  • Other important uses for timber are as cross-ties, poles for telegraph and telephone lines, and "shoring" or supports in mines.

  • The ground never thaws below a depth of two feet, so there is no need of shoring to prevent its caving.

    Klondike Nuggets

    E. S. Ellis

British Dictionary definitions for shoring


  1. the land along the edge of a sea, lake, or wide riverRelated adjective: littoral
    1. land, as opposed to water (esp in the phrase on shore)
    2. (as modifier)shore duty
  2. law the tract of coastland lying between the ordinary marks of high and low water
  3. (often plural) a countryhis native shores
  1. (tr) 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


  1. a prop, post, or beam used to support a wall, building, ship in dry dock, etc
  1. (tr often foll by up) to prop or make safe with or as if with a shore
Derived Formsshoring, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Middle Dutch schōre; related to Old Norse skortha prop


  1. Australian and NZ a past tense of shear
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 shoring



"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