1. A tool with a handle and a broad scoop or blade for digging and moving material, such as dirt or snow.
2. A large mechanical device or vehicle for heavy digging or excavation.
3. The amount that a shovel can hold; a shovelful: One shovel of dirt.
v. shov·eled, shov·el·ing, shov·els also shov·elled or shov·el·ling
1. To move or remove with a shovel.
2. To make with a shovel: shoveled a path through the snow.
3. To convey or throw in a rough or hasty way, as if with a shovel: He shoveled the food into his mouth.
4. 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.
To dig or work with a shovel.
[Middle English, from Old English scofl.]
(click for a larger image)shovel
left: ergonomic snow shovel
right: D-handle round point shovel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.