- 1 [countable] either of the two parts of the body between the top of each arm and the neck He slung the bag over his shoulder. She tapped him on the shoulder. He looked back over his shoulder. She shrugged her shoulders (= showing that she didn't know or care). an off-the-shoulder dress He carried the child on his shoulders. CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesFace a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a hooked/a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide/sloping forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy/goatee beard a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/little/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/(British English) ginger/grey hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/short/thick/slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/a slim/a slender/an hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build See related entries: Body parts -shouldered
- 2(in adjectives) having the type of shoulders mentioned broad-shouldered see also round-shouldered clothing
- 3 [countable] the part of a piece of clothing that covers the shoulder a jacket with padded shoulders meat
- 4[uncountable, countable] shoulder (of something) meat from the top part of one of the front legs of an animal that has four legs See related entries: Meat of mountain/bottle, etc.
- 5[countable] shoulder (of something) a part of something, such as a bottle or mountain, that is shaped like a shoulder The village lay just around the shoulder of the hill. See related entries: Mountains and valleys side of road
- 6[countable] (North American English) an area of ground at the side of a road where vehicles can stop in an emergency No shoulder for next 5 miles. see also hard shoulder, soft shoulder See related entries: Features of roads Word Origin Old English sculdor, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch schouder and German Schulter.Extra examples He hunched his shoulders against the cold wind. He slung the sack over his shoulder and set off. Her shoulders lifted in a vague shrug. His broad shoulders heaved with sobs. His frozen shoulder has stopped him from playing tennis. I tapped the man on the shoulder and asked him to move. In an aggressive situation, we stand tall and square our shoulders. Inhale, drop your shoulders and raise your chest. Keep the feet shoulder width apart. My shoulders dropped with relief. Roll your shoulders forward and take a deep breath. She was crouched with her head forward and her shoulders bent. The bullet hit him squarely between the shoulder blades. The child sat on her father’s shoulders to watch the parade go by. The route of the procession was lined with police officers standing shoulder to shoulder. When I asked him why he’d done it he just shrugged his shoulders.Idioms to be much better than other people or things His performance stood head and shoulders above the rest. to be anxious and have the feeling that somebody is going to do something unpleasant or harmful to you (informal) to treat somebody in an unfriendly way see also cold-shoulder (informal) to be sensitive about something that happened in the past and become easily offended if it is mentioned because you think that you were treated unfairly He has a real chip on his shoulder about being adopted. to be a sensible person used to describe a young person who acts in a more sensible way than you would expect for a person of their age if blame, guilt, etc. is on somebody’s shoulders, they must take responsibility for it Stop trying to put the blame on somebody else’s shoulders. to start working very hard at a particular task Everyone is going to have to put their shoulder to the wheel.
- 1physically close to somebody The large crowd stood shoulder to shoulder in the stands.
- 2as one group that has the same aims, opinions, etc.
part of body
to meet and spend time with a famous person, socially or as part of your job He’s rubbing shoulders with stars all the time. used to describe a person who listens to your problems and gives you sympathy