[shuhv-uh l]


verb (used with object), shov·eled, shov·el·ing or (especially British) shov·elled, shov·el·ling.

verb (used without object), shov·eled, shov·el·ing or (especially British) shov·elled, shov·el·ling.

to work with a shovel.

Origin of shovel

before 900; Middle English schovel, Old English scofl; cognate with Dutch schoffel hoe; akin to German Schaufel shovel
Related formsun·shov·eled, adjectiveun·shov·elled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shoveling

Contemporary Examples of shoveling

Historical Examples of shoveling

  • The two men were busy for a long while, shoveling away the sand.

  • Uncle Eb had to do a lot of shoveling to get out of doors and into the stable.

    Eben Holden

    Irving Bacheller

  • “Yes, they are shoveling the dirt out again,” declared the girl.

    The Wall Between

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • And he kept on shoveling until the man said that was enough.

    The Doers

    William John Hopkins

  • Men were already clearing the streets, and shoveling the refuse from the stores.

British Dictionary definitions for shoveling



an instrument for lifting or scooping loose material, such as earth, coal, etc, consisting of a curved blade or a scoop attached to a handle
any machine or part resembling a shovel in action
Also called: shovelful the amount that can be contained in a shovel
short for shovel hat

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to lift (earth, etc) with a shovel
(tr) to clear or dig (a path) with or as if with a shovel
(tr) to gather, load, or unload in a hurried or careless wayhe shovelled the food into his mouth and rushed away
Derived Formsshoveller or US shoveler, noun

Word Origin for shovel

Old English scofl; related to Old High German scūfla shovel, Dutch schoffel hoe; see shove
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 shoveling



Old English scofl, sceofol "shovel," related to scufan (see shove (v.)), from Proto-Germanic *skublo (cf. Old Saxon skufla, Swedish skovel, Middle Low German schufle, Middle Dutch shuffel, Dutch schoffel, Old High German scuvala, German Schaufel). Shovel-ready, with reference to construction projects, is attested by 2006.



mid-15c., from shovel (n.). Related: Shoveled; shoveling. Cf. German schaufeln, verb from noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper