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

More examples

-shouldered
suffix uk / -ʃəʊl.dəd/ us / -ʃoʊl.dɚd/

to be broad/narrow-shouldered

shoulderverb

uk /ˈʃəʊl.dər/ us /ˈʃoʊl.dɚ/

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)