- The definition of a shovel is a tool that has a long handle and a broad pan used to lift and move things.
An example of a shovel is a tool with which to dig dirt.
- Shovel is defined as to lift and move with a shovel.
An example of shovel is to dig in the sand.
- a tool with a broad, deep scoop or blade and a long handle: used in lifting and moving loose material, as earth, snow, gravel, etc.
- any machine equipped with a shovel-like device: a steam shovel
Origin of shovelMiddle English schovele ; from Old English scofl ; from base of scufan: see shove
transitive verbshoveled or shovelled, shoveling or shovelling
- to lift and move with a shovel
- to clean or dig out (a path, etc.) with a shovel
- to put or throw, in large quantities: to shovel food into one's mouth
- A tool with a handle and a broad scoop or blade for digging and moving material, such as dirt or snow.
- A large mechanical device or vehicle for heavy digging or excavation.
- The amount that a shovel can hold; a shovelful: One shovel of dirt.
verbshov·eled, shov·el·ing, shov·els also shov·elled or shov·el·ling
- To move or remove with a shovel.
- To make with a shovel: shoveled a path through the snow.
- To convey or throw in a rough or hasty way, as if with a shovel: He shoveled the food into his mouth.
- To clear or excavate with or as if with a shovel: shoveling off the driveway after the snowstorm; shovels out the hall closet once a year.
Origin of shovelMiddle English, from Old English scofl.
left: ergonomic snow shovel
right: D-handle round point shovel
- A hand tool with a handle, used for moving portions of material such as earth, snow, and grain from one place to another, with some forms also used for digging. Not to be confused with a spade, which is designed solely for small-scale digging and incidental tasks such as chopping of small roots.
- (US) A spade.
(third-person singular simple present shovels, present participle shoveling or shovelling, simple past and past participle shoveled or shovelled)
- To move materials with a shovel.
- The workers were shovelling gravel and tarmac into the pothole in the road.
- After the blizzard, we shoveled the driveway for the next two days.
- I don't mind shoveling, but using a pickaxe hurts my back terribly.
- (figuratively) To move with a shoveling motion.
From Middle English shovele, schovel, showell, shoule, shole (> English dialectal shoul, shool), from Old English scofl (“shovel”), from Proto-Germanic *skuflō, *skūflō (“shovel”), equivalent to shove + -el (instrumental/agent suffix). Cognate with Scots shuffle, shule, shuil (“shovel”), Saterland Frisian Sköifel (“shovel”), West Frisian skoffel, schoffel (“hoe, spade, shovel”), Dutch schoffel (“spade, hoe”), Low German Schüfel, Schuffel (“shovel”), German Schaufel (“shovel”), Danish skovl (“shovel”), Swedish skyffel, skovel (“shovel”), Icelandic skófla (“shovel”).