Pronunciation: (shōl'dur), [key]
1. the part of each side of the body in humans, at the top of the trunk, extending from each side of the base of the neck to the region where the arm articulates with the trunk.
2. Usually, shoulders. these two parts together with the part of the back joining them.
3. a corresponding part in animals. See diag. under horse.
4. the upper foreleg and adjoining parts of a sheep, goat, etc.
5. the joint connecting the arm or the foreleg with the trunk.
6. a shoulderlike part or projection.
7. Ornith.the bend of a bird's wing, between the hand and the forearm, esp. when distinctively colored, as in the red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus.
8. a cut of meat that includes the upper joint of the foreleg.
9. Often, shoulders. Informal.capacity for bearing responsibility or blame or sympathizing with other people: If you want to tell me your troubles, I have broad shoulders.
10. a steplike change in the contour of an object, as for opposing or limiting motion along it or for an abutment.
a. the end surface or surfaces of a piece from which a tenon or tenons project.
b. an inclined and raised surface, as on a joggle post, for receiving and supporting the foot of a strut or the like.
12. Fort.the angle of a bastion between the face and the flank.
13. Print.the flat surface on a type body extending beyond the base of the letter or character. See diag. under type.
14. the part of a garment that covers, or fits over, the shoulder.
15. (in leather manufacturing) that part of the hide anterior to the butt.
16. either of the two edges or borders along a road, esp. that portion on which vehicles can be parked in emergencies. Cf. soft shoulder.
17. See shoulder season.
18. Furniture.knee (def. 6).
19. cry on someone's shoulder, to reveal one's problems to another person in order to obtain sympathy: Don't cry on my shoulder—this mess is your own fault.
20. put one's shoulder to the wheel, to work energetically toward a goal; put forth effort: If we put our shoulders to the wheel, we'll be able to finish the job soon.
21. rub shoulders with, to come into association with; mingle with: As a social worker in one of the worst slum areas, she rubs shoulders with the poor and the helpless.
22. shoulder to shoulder, side by side; with united effort: The volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder with the natives in harvesting the crops.
23. straight from the shoulder, without evasion; directly; candidly: The lawyer told him straight from the shoulder that his case was weak.
1. to push with or as if with the shoulder, esp. roughly: to shoulder someone aside.
2. to take upon, support, or carry on or as if on the shoulder or shoulders: He shouldered his knapsack and walked on.
3. to assume as a responsibility: to shoulder the expense.
1. to push with or as if with the shoulder: to shoulder through a crowd.
2. shoulder arms, Mil.
a. to place a rifle muzzle upward on the right or left shoulder, with the buttstock in the corresponding hand.
b. the command to shoulder arms.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.