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Sep 24, 2008
This week's theme
Words from geology and geography.

This week's words
archipelago
monadnock
shoal
col
isthmus

Shoal
Yasawa Islands, Fiji A shoal in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji
(Image source: Wikipedia)

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shoal

PRONUNCIATION:
(shol, rhymes with hole)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A shallow area in a body of water.
2. A sandbank or sandbar in the bed of a body of water, constituting a navigation hazard.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English shold, from Old English sceald (shallow). The homonym shoal, referring to a school of fish or a crowd, has a different origin, probably from Dutch schole (band or troop).

USAGE:
"Thomas Jefferson says, 'I've found the art of living is avoiding the shoals and the rocks. But the truth of the matter is none of us can avoid the shoals and the rocks.'"
Joe Kovac Jr.; This I Know: Max Cleland; Macon Telegraph (Georgia); Sep 14, 2008.

See more usage examples of shoal in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If the truth doesn't save us, what does that say about us? -Lois McMaster Bujold, writer (b. 1949)

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