shoal

shoal
shoal n Shoal, bank, reef, bar can all mean a shallow place in a body of water. In ordinary use
Shoal is applied to a shallow place, especially one that is difficult to navigate
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dangerous shoals in uncharted waters

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Bank, often as the plural banks, is applied to one that is formed by a muddy, sandy, or gravelly elevation but is deep enough to make navigation safe for lighter craft (as fishing boats)
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the Grand Bank, also called the Banks of Newfoundland, is a noted fishing ground

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and reef, to one where rock lies dangerously close to the surface
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the reef-bound shores of Bermuda

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Technically shoal is applied to elevations which are not rocky and on which the water is not more than 6 fathoms deep, bank to a similar elevation rising from the continental shelf and usually having a broad flat top under deeper water, and reef to a rocky elevation on which the water at low tide is 6 fathoms or less in depth.
Bar carries implications found in many senses (as of length, narrowness, and hindrance). It is applied to a ridge of sand or gravel piled up at and often across or nearly across a river's mouth or an entrance to a harbor and obstructing navigation.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Shoal — Shoal, n. [AS. scolu, sceolu, a company, multitude, crowd, akin to OS. skola; probably originally, a division, and akin to Icel. skilja to part, divide. See {Skill}, and cf. {School}. of fishes.] A great multitude assembled; a crowd; a throng;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shoal — Shoal, a. [Cf. {Shallow}; or cf. G. scholle a clod, glebe, OHG. scollo, scolla, prob. akin to E. shoal a multitude.] Having little depth; shallow; as, shoal water. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shoal — [ʃəul US ʃoul] n [Sense: 1; Origin: Old English scolu large group ] [Sense: 2; Date: 1300 1400; Origin: shoal not deep (11 20 centuries), from Old English sceald] 1.) a large group of fish swimming together = ↑school shoal of …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Shoal — Shoal, n. 1. A place where the water of a sea, lake, river, pond, etc., is shallow; a shallow. [1913 Webster] The depth of your pond should be six feet; and on the sides some shoals for the fish to lay their span. Mortimer. [1913 Webster] Wolsey …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shoal — shoal; shoal·i·ness; shoal·ness; …   English syllables

  • shoal — shoal1 [shōl] n. [via dial. < OE scolu, multitude, school of fish, akin to Du school < IE * skēl < base * (s)kel , to cut > SHIELD] 1. a large group; mass; crowd 2. a large school of fish vi. to come together in or move about as a… …   English World dictionary

  • Shoal — Shoal, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Shoaled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shoaling}.] To assemble in a multitude; to throng; as, the fishes shoaled about the place. Chapman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shoal — Shoal, v. i. To become shallow; as, the color of the water shows where it shoals. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shoal — Shoal, v. t. To cause to become more shallow; to come to a more shallow part of; as, a ship shoals her water by advancing into that which is less deep. Marryat. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shoal — Ⅰ. shoal [1] ► NOUN 1) a large number of fish swimming together. 2) informal, chiefly Brit. a large number of people. ► VERB ▪ (of fish) form shoals. ORIGIN probably from Dutch sch le troop …   English terms dictionary

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