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



; ˈʃoʊldər

part of body

1 [countable] either of the two parts of the body between the top of each arm and the neckHe 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 dressHe carried the child on his shoulders.


2 (in adjectives) having the type of shoulders mentionedbroad-shouldered see also round-shouldered


3 [countable] the part of a piece of clothing that covers the shouldera jacket with padded shoulders


4 [uncountable, countable] shoulder (of something) meat from the top part of one of the front legs of an animal that has four legs

of mountain/bottle, etc.

5 [countable] shoulder (of something) a part of something, such as a bottle or mountain, that is shaped like a shoulderThe village lay just around the shoulder of the hill.

side of road

6 [countable] (North American English) an area of ground at the side of a road where vehicles can stop in an emergencyNo shoulder for next 5 miles. see also hard shoulder, soft shoulder

be looking over your shoulder

to be anxious and have the feeling that somebody is going to do something unpleasant or harmful to you

on somebody's shoulders

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.

put your shoulder to the wheel

to start working very hard at a particular task
Everyone is going to have to put their shoulder to the wheel.

a shoulder to cry on

used to describe a person who listens to your problems and gives you sympathy

shoulder to shoulder (with somebody)

1 physically close to somebodyThe large crowd stood shoulder to shoulder in the stands.2 as one group that has the same aims, opinions, etc.
more at have a chip on your shoulder at chip n., give somebody the cold shoulder at cold adjective, be/stand head and shoulders above somebody/something at head n., have a good head on your shoulders at head n., (have) an old head on young shoulders at old, rub shoulders with somebody at rub v., straight from the shoulder at straight adverbUsage noteUsage note: Physical appearanceA person may be described as having:Eyes(bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyesdeep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyessmall/beady/sparkling/twinkling/(informal) shifty eyespiercing/penetrating/steely eyesbloodshot/watery/puffy eyesbushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrowslong/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesFacea flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nosea straight/a hooked/a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nosefull/thick/thin/pouty lipsdry/chapped/cracked lipsflushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheekssoft/chubby/sunken cheekswhite/perfect/crooked/protruding teetha large/high/broad/wide/sloping foreheada strong/weak/pointed/double china long/full/bushy/wispy/goatee bearda long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil moustache/(especially US) mustacheHair and skinpale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skindry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skina dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexiondeep/fine/little/facial wrinklesblonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/(British English) ginger/grey hairstraight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hairthick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hairdyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hairlong/short/shoulder-length/cropped haira bald/balding/shaved heada receding hairlinea bald patch/spota side/centre/(US) center (British English) parting/(North American English) partBodya long/short/thick/slender/(disapproving) scrawny neckbroad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shouldersa bare/broad/muscular/small/large chesta flat/swollen/bulging stomacha small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waistbig/wide/narrow/slim hipsa straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy backthin/slender/muscular armsbig/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved handslong/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingerslong/muscular/hairy/shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/spindly legsmuscular/chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighsbig/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feeta good/a slim/a slender/an hourglass figurebe of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build