Definition of shoal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊl//
    Groups of animals
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  1. 1a large number of fish swimming together as a group shoals of herring Squid travel in shoals. compare school See related entries: Groups of animals
  2. 2a small hill of sand just below the surface of the sea The boat ran aground on a shoal.
  3. Word Originsense 1 late 16th cent.: probably from Middle Dutch schōle ‘troop’. Compare with school sense 9.sense 2 Old English sceald (adjective), of Germanic origin; related to shallow.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shoal