• synonyms


or sha·duf

  1. a device used in Egypt and other Eastern countries for raising water, especially for irrigation, consisting of a long suspended rod with a bucket at one end and a weight at the other.
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Origin of shadoof

First recorded in 1830–40, shadoof is from the Egyptian Arabic word shadūf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shadoof

Historical Examples

  • One of the most common sights along the Nile is the shadoof.

    Birdseye Views of Far Lands

    James T. Nichols

  • This is the shadoof, the same which was used in the time of Moses.

    From Egypt to Japan

    Henry M. Field

  • The shadoof is used on small farms, and the sakieh is more often used for larger farms and plantations.

  • The man who works the shadoof stands near the water's edge, below the slender arm of the balance.

  • Drawing water with the aid of the shadoof is said to be very hard work, especially in so hot a country as Egypt.

British Dictionary definitions for shadoof



  1. a mechanism for raising water, consisting of a pivoted pole with a bucket at one end and a counterweight at the other, esp as used in Egypt and the Near East
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Word Origin

C19: from Egyptian Arabic
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