[awrz, ohrz]

interjection Nautical.

(used as a command to the crew of a scull or other similar boat to cease rowing and hold the oars horizontal with blades feathered.)


[awr, ohr]


a long shaft with a broad blade at one end, used as a lever for rowing or otherwise propelling or steering a boat.
something resembling this or having a similar purpose.
a person who rows; oarsman.

verb (used with object)

to propel with or as if with oars; row.
to traverse or make (one's way) by, or as if by, rowing.

verb (used without object)

to row.
to move or advance as if by rowing.

Origin of oar

before 900; Middle English ore, Old English ār; cognate with Old Norse ār
Related formsoar·less, adjectiveoar·like, adjective
Can be confusedoar o'er or ore
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for oars

blade, pole, propel, row, scull, sweep

Examples from the Web for oars

Contemporary Examples of oars

Historical Examples of oars

  • Terlake fell short, crashed in among the oars, and bounded off into the sea.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Go to Argus, the shipbuilder, and bid him build a galley with fifty oars.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was already half filled with Dyaks, some of whom were hastily manning the oars.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • In the dory the skipper, bending at his oars, was not two yards astern.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • To his joy he found a pair of oars stowed beneath the thwarts.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for oars



a long shaft of wood for propelling a boat by rowing, having a broad blade that is dipped into and pulled against the water. Oars were also used for steering certain kinds of ancient sailing boats
short for oarsman
put one's oar in to interfere or interrupt


to row or propel with or as if with oarsthe two men were oaring their way across the lake
Derived Formsoarless, adjectiveoarlike, adjective

Word Origin for oar

Old English ār, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse ār
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 oars



Old English ar "oar," from Proto-Germanic *airo (cf. Old Norse ar, Danish aare, Swedish åra), of unknown origin; perhaps related to Latin remus "oar," Greek eretes "rower," eretmos "oar."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with oars


see put one's oar in.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.