Cars & Driving


  • An unintentional offset in a formed concrete surface usually caused by bulging or movement of formwork. See also ear.
  • The enlarged section of a bolt or screw shank just below the head.


  • noun the slightly concave upper edge of the blade of the bat, close to where it joins the handle
    Citation ‘Kirsten’s brave and proficient occupation was ended by an awkward delivery, which took off from a length to find the shoulder of his bat and carry some distance to short third man’ (Richard Hutton, Cricketer September 1994)


  • The top of the foreleg of an animal including the shoulder blade and surrounding muscles but not the vertebrae and ribs and the longitudinal muscles associated with them. The methods of cooking depend upon the amount of work the muscles have done, e.g. lamb, pork and veal may be roasted, older beef and mutton shoulder is usually stewed or braised.

Information & Library Science

  • noun the edge of the spine of a book, which sticks out slightly

Media Studies

  • noun a flat surface of printers’ type below the raised letter or character


  • noun a joint where the top of the arm joins the main part of the body


  • noun a sloping surface between the bevel of the metal type and the edge of the stem

Origin & History of “shoulder”

Shoulder is a general west Germanic word, with relatives in German schulter and Dutch schouder (it was also borrowed into Swedish and Danish as skuldra and skulder respectively). It goes back to a prehistoric *skuldr-, but where this came from is not clear. One suggestion is that it is distantly related to English shield, and originally denoted ‘shoulder-blade’ (the underlying meaning being ‘flat piece’).