1 part of the body between the neck and the arm
ADJ. dislocated, frozen His frozen shoulder has stopped him playing tennis.
SHOULDER + NOUN injury | blade, bones, joint, muscle, socket The bullet hit him squarely between the shoulder blades. | height, level | width Keep the feet shoulder width apart. | harness, sling, strap | injury
PREP. over your ~ He slung the sack over his shoulder and set off.
PHRASES a pat on the shoulder He gave me a reassuring pat on the shoulder. | shoulder to shoulder The route of the procession was lined with police officers standing shoulder to shoulder. | tap sb on the shoulder I tapped the man on the shoulder and asked him to move.
2 shoulders: the part between the two shoulders
ADJ. big, broad, great, huge, manly, massive, muscled, muscular, powerful, strong, wide | delicate, shapely, slim | narrow, thin | square | round | bony | bowed | bare | tense, tight | tired
VERB + SHOULDER shrug When I asked him why he'd done it he just shrugged his shoulders. | hunch He hunched his shoulders against the cold wind.
SHOULDER + VERB be bent, be bowed, be stooped She was crouched with her head forward and her shoulders bent. | droop, drop, sag, slump My shoulders dropped with relief. | lift, shrug Her shoulders lifted in a vague shrug. | heave, shake, twitch His enormous shoulders heaved with sobs. | stiffen, tighten | relax
PREP. on your ~s The child sat on her father's shoulders to watch the parade go by.
1 accept the responsibility for sth
VERB + SHOULDER have to, must She had to shoulder the burden of childcare. | be willing/unwilling to He was unwilling to shoulder this responsibility alone.
2 push sb/sth with your shoulder
ADV. roughly We were shouldered roughly out of the way. | aside, out of the way
PHRASES shoulder your way past/through sb/sth She shouldered her way through the crowd.