shoulder Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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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 glanced nervously over her shoulder to make sure no one else was listening.
shoulders [plural]
the top part of a person's back: He was about six feet tall 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 larger size? a jacket with padded shoulders
[C] the part of a bottle that curves out below its opening

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

-shouldered
suffix uk   / -ʃəʊl.dəd/ us   / -ʃoʊl.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 disabled relatives. Teachers cannot be expected to shoulder all the blame for poor exam results.
  • 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 door open. He shouldered his way (= formed a way through by pushing with his shoulders) to the front of the crowd to get a better look.
(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, bony parts 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 stop safely.

shoulderverb [T]

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

to accept responsibility for something: It is usually women who shoulder the responsibility for the care of elderly relatives.
  • 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)
What is the pronunciation of shoulder?
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