EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʃəʊl/, /ʃɒʊl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊl

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English schold, scholde, from Old English sċeald (shallow), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *skalidaz, past participle of *skaljaną (to go dry, dry up, become shallow), from *skalaz (parched, shallow), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelh₁- (to dry out). Cognate with Low German Scholl (shallow water), German schal (stale, flat, vapid). Compare shallow.

Alternative formsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

shoal (comparative shoaler, superlative shoalest)

  1. (now rare) Shallow.
    shoal water
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, III.19:
      But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, / And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, / His port lay on the other side o' the isle.

NounEdit

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. A sandbank or sandbar creating a shallow.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
    • 1697, “Aeneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      The god himself with ready trident stands, / And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands, / Then heaves them off the shoals.
  2. A shallow in a body of water.
SynonymsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

shoal (third-person singular simple present shoals, present participle shoaling, simple past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To arrive at a shallow (or less deep) area.
  2. (transitive) To cause a shallowing; to come to a more shallow part of.
    • 1859, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Explanations and Sailing Directions to Accompany the Wind and Current Charts
      Noting the rate at which she shoals her water - []
  3. To become shallow.
    The colour of the water shows where it shoals.

Etymology 2Edit

1570, presumably from Middle English *schole (school of fish), from Old English sċeolu, sċolu (troop or band of people, host, multitude, division of army, school of fish), from Proto-Germanic *skulō (crowd), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelH- (to divide, split, separate). Cognate with West Frisian skoal (shoal), Middle Low German schōle (multitude, troop), Dutch school (shoal of fishes). Doublet of school.

NounEdit

shoal (plural shoals)

  1. Any large number of persons or things.
  2. (collective) A large number of fish (or other sea creatures) of the same species swimming together.
    • c. 1661, Edmund Waller, On St. James's Park
      Beneath, a shoal of silver fishes glides.
SynonymsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

shoal (third-person singular simple present shoals, present participle shoaling, simple past and past participle shoaled)

  1. To collect in a shoal; to throng.
    The fish shoaled about the place.

AnagramsEdit