- a place where a sea, river, or other body of water is shallow.
- 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.
- of little depth, as water; shallow.
- to become shallow or more shallow.
- to cause to become shallow.
- Nautical. to sail so as to lessen the depth of (the water under a vessel).
Origin of shoal1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- any large number of persons or things.
- a school of fish.
- to collect in a shoal; throng.
Origin of shoal2
Examples from the Web for shoaling
As soon as they found that the water was shoaling, they would anchor.Rollo on the Atlantic
I then helped the squire to walk up the shoaling beach, out of the river.Down The River
"The water's shoaling rapidly, sir," repeated the second lieutenant.The Dealings of Captain Sharkey
A. Conan Doyle
It would also appear that since Captain King's survey the water has been shoaling hereabouts.Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1.
The shoaling indicated by a sounding of 310 fathoms taken in Lat.The North Pole
Robert E. Peary
- a stretch of shallow water
- a sandbank or rocky area in a stretch of water, esp one that is visible at low water
- to make or become shallow
- (intr) nautical to sail into shallower water
- a less common word for shallow
- nautical (of the draught of a vessel) drawing little water
- a large group of certain aquatic animals, esp fish
- a large group of people or things
- (intr) to collect together in such a group
Word Origin and History for shoaling
"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.
"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.
"assemble in a multitude," c.1600, from shoal (n.2). Related: Shoaled; shoaling.
- A submerged mound or ridge of sediment in a body of shallow water.