- a place where a sea, river, or other body of water is shallow.
- a sandbank or sand bar in the bed of a body of water, especially one that is exposed above the surface of the water at low tide.
- of little depth, as water; shallow.
verb (used without object)
- to become shallow or more shallow.
verb (used with object)
- to cause to become shallow.
- Nautical. to sail so as to lessen the depth of (the water under a vessel).
- a stretch of shallow water
- a sandbank or rocky area in a stretch of water, esp one that is visible at low water
- to make or become shallow
- (intr) nautical to sail into shallower water
adjective Also: shoaly
- a less common word for shallow
- nautical (of the draught of a vessel) drawing little water
- a large group of certain aquatic animals, esp fish
- a large group of people or things
- (intr) to collect together in such a group
“place of shallow water,” c.1300, from Old English schealde (adj.), from sceald “shallow,” from Proto-Germanic *skala- (cf. Swedish skäll “thin;” Low German schol, Frisian skol “not deep”), of uncertain origin. The terminal -d was dropped 16c.
“large number” (especially of fish), 1570s, apparently identical with Old English scolu “band, troop, crowd of fish” (see school (n.2)); but perhaps rather a 16c. adoption of cognate Middle Dutch schole.
“assemble in a multitude,” c.1600, from shoal (n.2). Related: Shoaled; shoaling.
- A submerged mound or ridge of sediment in a body of shallow water.