shoulder Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “shoulder” in the English Dictionary

"shoulder" in British English

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shouldernoun

uk   /ˈʃəʊl.dər/  us   /ˈʃoʊl.dɚ/
  • shoulder noun (BODY PART)

B1 [C] one of the two ​parts of the ​body at each ​side of the ​neck that ​join the ​arms to the ​rest of the ​body: I ​rested my ​head on her shoulder. Then she put her ​arm around my shoulder and gave me a ​kiss. She glancednervously over her shoulder to make ​sure no one ​else was ​listening.shoulders [plural] the ​toppart of a person's back: He was about six ​feettall with broad shoulders. "I don't ​know what to do about it," said Martha, shrugging her shoulders. the ​parts of a ​piece of ​clothing that ​cover the wearer's shoulders: The shoulders ​look a little ​tight. Do you ​want to ​try a ​largersize? a ​jacket with padded shoulders [C] the ​part of a ​bottle that ​curves out below ​itsopening

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • shoulder noun (ROAD SIDE)

[C usually singular] US an ​area along the ​side of a ​mainroad where ​cars can ​stop: There were ​tiretracksleft in the soft shoulder (= ​area of ​dirt or ​grass by the ​road).
See also
-shouldered
suffix uk   /-dərd/  us   /-dɚd/
to be broad/​narrow-shouldered

shoulderverb

uk   /ˈʃəʊl.dər/  us   /ˈʃoʊl.dɚ/
  • shoulder verb (ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY)

shoulder the blame, burden, responsibility, cost, etc. to ​accept that you are ​responsible for something ​bad or ​difficult: It is women who ​mainly shoulder ​responsibility for the ​care of ​elderly and ​disabledrelatives. Teachers cannot be ​expected to shoulder all the ​blame for ​poorexamresults.
  • shoulder verb (BODY PART)

[T] to put something on ​your shoulders to ​carry it: Shouldering her ​pack, she ​strode off up the ​road. [T + adv/prep] to ​push something with one of ​your shoulders: She was ​carrying two ​suitcases and had to shoulder the ​dooropen. He shouldered his way (= ​formed a way through by ​pushing with his shoulders) to the ​front of the ​crowd to get a ​betterlook.
(Definition of shoulder from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shoulder" in American English

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shouldernoun [C]

 us   /ˈʃoʊl·dər/
  • shoulder noun [C] (BODY PART)

one of the two ​rounded, ​bonyparts of a person’s ​body on either ​side of the ​neck where the ​top of the ​arm is ​joined: She put her ​head on my shoulder. A shoulder of a ​road is an ​edge just beyond the ​part you ​drive along, where you can ​stopsafely.

shoulderverb [T]

 us   /ˈʃoʊl·dər/
  • shoulder verb [T] (ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY)

to ​acceptresponsibility for something: It is usually women who shoulder the ​responsibility for the ​care of ​elderlyrelatives.
  • shoulder verb [T] (PUT ON BODY PART)

to put something on ​your shoulders to ​carry it: Shouldering her ​pack, she ​strode off up the ​road.
(Definition of shoulder from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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