[ shawr, shohr ]
/ ʃɔr, ʃoʊr /
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the land along the edge of a sea, lake, broad river, etc.
some particular country: my native shore.
land, as opposed to sea or water: a marine serving on shore.
Law. the space between the ordinary high-water and low-water mark.
of, relating to, or located on land, especially land along the edge of a body of water: a marine on shore duty.


How Do You Say This Word In Your Part Of The Country?

Have you ever heard a phrase said in a different part of the country, and it's said in just a slightly different way than how you say it back home? Those different phrases are called regionalisms. Do you use any in your state?

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Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of shore

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English score, Old English scora (recorded only in place names); cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schore; perhaps akin to shear

synonym study for shore

1. Shore, bank, beach, coast refer to an edge of land abutting on an ocean, lake, or other large body of water. Shore is the general word: The ship reached shore. Bank denotes the land along a river or other watercourse, sometimes steep but often not: The river flows between its banks. Beach refers to sandy or pebbly margins along a shore, especially those made wider at ebb tide: a private beach for bathers. Coast applies only to land along an ocean: the Pacific coast.

Other definitions for shore (2 of 4)

[ 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, shor·ing.
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 shore

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun shore, score; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schore “prop”; the verb is derivative of the noun

Other definitions for shore (3 of 4)

[ shawr, shohr ]
/ ʃɔr, ʃoʊr /

verb (used with object), shored, shor·ing.Scot. and North England.
to threaten (someone).
to offer or proffer (something).

Origin of shore

First recorded in 1400–50; Middle English (Scots ) schore, of uncertain origin and meaning

Other definitions for shore (4 of 4)

[ shawr, shohr ]
/ ʃɔr, ʃoʊr /

Jane, 1445?–1527, mistress of Edward IV of England.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of shore?

A shore is land that is located along the edge of a body of water. Shore can also be used more generally to mean any land or a particular country. As a verb, shore means to support something.

If a certain area of land touches or runs alongside a body of water, it is a shore. For example, a fisherman would stand at a river’s shore while fishing in it.

A shore is similar to a coast or a beach. A coast is a shore that specifically meets the ocean. A beach is a part of a shore covered in sand and pebbles.

  • Real-life examples: Boats are docked along shores. Many shores have beautiful, sandy beaches. MTV once filmed an infamous reality show on the shore of New Jersey.
  • Used in a sentence: Eve liked to watch the deer relax along the shore of the lake. 

Shore is also used generally to mean any land. This sense is often used as a contrast to water, such as when talking about sailing or boating.

  • Used in a sentence: When I was in the Coast Guard, I didn’t spend much time on shore.

Shore can also mean a country.

  • Used in a sentence: I want to return to my native shore of Wales. 

As a verb, shore means to support or to bolster. In this sense, it is often followed by the word up.

  • Real-life examples: A builder might shore up a roof with several posts. You might shore up your essay with quotes from the research you did. A government can shore up the solar energy industry by giving solar panel manufacturers tax breaks.
  • Used in a sentence: The president planned to shore up the economy by giving aid to small businesses. 

Related to this sense, shore is used as a noun to mean a beam or post that acts as a support.

  • Used in a sentence: We used steel shores to keep the side wall from falling down. 

Where does shore come from?

The first records of the water-related shore come from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Old English scora, which is recorded only in place names.

The first records of the support-related shore come from around 1250. It ultimately comes from the Middle English score. The verb form comes from the noun.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to shore?

What are some synonyms for shore?

What are some words that share a root or word element with shore?

What are some words that often get used in discussing shore?

How is shore used in real life?

Shore is a common word that means land that is along the water or that means to reinforce something.

Try using shore!

True or False?

A shore is land that touches or runs along a body of water, such as the ocean.

How to use shore in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shore (1 of 3)

/ (ʃɔː) /

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
law the tract of coastland lying between the ordinary marks of high and low water
(often plural) a countryhis native shores
(tr) to move or drag (a boat) onto a shore

Word Origin for shore

C14: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōre; compare Old High German scorra cliff; see shear

British Dictionary definitions for shore (2 of 3)

/ (ʃɔː) /

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

Derived forms of shore

shoring, noun

Word Origin for shore

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

British Dictionary definitions for shore (3 of 3)

/ (ʃɔː) /

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