1. a place where a sea, river, or other body of water is shallow.
  2. 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.


  1. of little depth, as water; shallow.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become shallow or more shallow.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to become shallow.
  2. Nautical. to sail so as to lessen the depth of (the water under a vessel).


  1. a stretch of shallow water
  2. a sandbank or rocky area in a stretch of water, esp one that is visible at low water


  1. to make or become shallow
  2. (intr) nautical to sail into shallower water

adjective Also: shoaly

  1. a less common word for shallow
  2. nautical (of the draught of a vessel) drawing little water


  1. a large group of certain aquatic animals, esp fish
  2. a large group of people or things


  1. (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.

  1. A submerged mound or ridge of sediment in a body of shallow water.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

45 queries 1.715