[ wawrf, hwawrf ]
See synonyms for: wharfwharves on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural wharves [wawrvz, hwawrvz], /wɔrvz, ʰwɔrvz/, wharfs.
  1. a structure built on the shore of or projecting into a harbor, stream, etc., so that vessels may be moored alongside to load or unload or to lie at rest; quay; pier.

  2. Obsolete.

    • a riverbank.

    • the shore of the sea.

verb (used with object)
  1. to provide with a wharf or wharves.

  2. to place or store on a wharf: The schedule allowed little time to wharf the cargo.

  1. to accommodate at or bring to a wharf: The new structure will wharf several vessels.

verb (used without object)
  1. to tie up at a wharf; dock: The ship wharfed in the early morning.

Origin of wharf

before 1050; Middle English (noun); Old English hwearf embankment; cognate with Middle Low German warf; akin to German Werf pier

Words that may be confused with wharf

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wharf in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wharf


/ (wɔːf) /

nounplural wharves (wɔːvz) or wharfs
  1. a platform of timber, stone, concrete, etc, built parallel to the waterfront at a harbour or navigable river for the docking, loading, and unloading of ships

  2. the wharves NZ the working area of a dock

  1. an obsolete word for shore 1

  1. to moor or dock at a wharf

  2. to provide or equip with a wharf or wharves

  1. to store or unload on a wharf

Origin of wharf

Old English hwearf heap; related to Old Saxon hwarf, Old High German hwarb a turn, Old Norse hvarf circle

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