cry on someone's shoulder


the part of each side of the body in humans, at the top of the trunk, extending from each side of the base of the neck to the region where the arm articulates with the trunk.
Usually, shoulders. these two parts together with the part of the back joining them.
a corresponding part in animals. See diag. under horse.
the upper foreleg and adjoining parts of a sheep, goat, etc.
the joint connecting the arm or the foreleg with the trunk.
a shoulderlike part or projection.
Ornithology. the bend of a bird's wing, between the hand and the forearm, especially when distinctively colored, as in the red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus.
a cut of meat that includes the upper joint of the foreleg.
Often, shoulders. Informal. capacity for bearing responsibility or blame or sympathizing with other people: If you want to tell me your troubles, I have broad shoulders.
a steplike change in the contour of an object, as for opposing or limiting motion along it or for an abutment.
the end surface or surfaces of a piece from which a tenon or tenons project.
an inclined and raised surface, as on a joggle post, for receiving and supporting the foot of a strut or the like.
Fortification. the angle of a bastion between the face and the flank.
Printing. the flat surface on a type body extending beyond the base of the letter or character. See diag. under type.
the part of a garment that covers, or fits over, the shoulder.
(in leather manufacturing) that part of the hide anterior to the butt.
either of the two edges or borders along a road, especially that portion on which vehicles can be parked in emergencies. Compare soft shoulder.
Furniture. knee ( def 6 ).
verb (used with object)
to push with or as if with the shoulder, especially roughly: to shoulder someone aside.
to take upon, support, or carry on or as if on the shoulder or shoulders: He shouldered his knapsack and walked on.
to assume as a responsibility: to shoulder the expense.
verb (used without object)
to push with or as if with the shoulder: to shoulder through a crowd.
cry on someone's shoulder, to reveal one's problems to another person in order to obtain sympathy: Don't cry on my shoulder—this mess is your own fault.
put one's shoulder to the wheel, to work energetically toward a goal; put forth effort: If we put our shoulders to the wheel, we'll be able to finish the job soon.
rub shoulders with, to come into association with; mingle with: As a social worker in one of the worst slum areas, she rubs shoulders with the poor and the helpless.
shoulder arms, Military.
to place a rifle muzzle upward on the right or left shoulder, with the buttstock in the corresponding hand.
the command to shoulder arms.
shoulder to shoulder, side by side; with united effort: The volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder with the natives in harvesting the crops.
straight from the shoulder, without evasion; directly; candidly: The lawyer told him straight from the shoulder that his case was weak.

before 900; (noun) Middle English sholder, s(c)hulder, Old English sculdor; cognate with Dutch schouder, German Schulter; (v.) Middle English shulderen, derivative of the noun

outshoulder, verb (used with object)
reshoulder, verb (used with object)
unshouldered, adjective

21. bear, undertake, carry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shoulder (ˈʃəʊldə)
1.  the part of the vertebrate body where the arm or a corresponding forelimb joins the trunk: the pectoral girdle and associated structures
2.  the joint at the junction of the forelimb with the pectoral girdle
3.  a cut of meat including the upper part of the foreleg
4.  printing the flat surface of a piece of type from which the face rises
5.  tanning the portion of a hide covering the shoulders and neck of the animal, usually including the cheeks
6.  the part of a garment that covers the shoulder
7.  anything that resembles a shoulder in shape or position
8.  the strip of unpaved land that borders a road
9.  engineering a substantial projection or abrupt change in shape or diameter designed to withstand thrust
10.  photog the portion of the characteristic curve of a photographic material indicating the maximum density that can be produced on the material
11.  jewellery the part of a ring where the shank joins the setting
12.  a shoulder to cry on a person one turns to for sympathy with one's troubles
13.  informal give someone the cold shoulder
 a.  to treat someone in a cold manner; snub
 b.  to ignore or shun someone
14.  informal put one's shoulder to the wheel to work very hard
15.  rub shoulders with See rub
16.  shoulder to shoulder
 a.  side by side or close together
 b.  in a corporate effort
17.  (tr) to bear or carry (a burden, responsibility, etc) as if on one's shoulders
18.  to push (something) with or as if with the shoulder
19.  (tr) to lift or carry on the shoulders
20.  military shoulder arms to bring the rifle vertically close to the right side with the muzzle uppermost and held at the trigger guard
[Old English sculdor; related to Old High German sculterra]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sculdor, from W.Gmc. *skuldro (cf. M.Du. scouder, Du. schouder, O.Fris. skoldere, M.L.G. scholder, O.H.G. scultra, Ger. Schulter), of unknown origin, perhaps related to shield. Meaning "edge of the road" is attested from 1933. The verb is first attested c.1300 with
sense "to push with the shoulder;" meaning "take a burden" first recorded 1582. Cold shoulder (Neh. ix:29) translates L. humerum recedentum dare in Vulgate (but see alternative explanation under cold).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

shoulder shoul·der (shōl'dər)

  1. The joint connecting the arm with the torso.

  2. The part of the human body between the neck and upper arm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cry on someone's shoulder

Tell one's problems to someone so as to gain sympathy or consolation, as in When James had a problem at the office he generally cried on his sister's shoulder. It is also put as a shoulder to cry on, as in When Mom came home, Jane had a shoulder to cry on. [Late 1930s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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