9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[shoo-hawrn] /ˈʃuˌhɔrn/
a shaped piece of horn, metal, or the like, inserted in the heel of a shoe to make it slip on more easily.
verb (used with object)
to force into a limited or tight space:
Can you shoehorn four of us into the back seat of your car?
Origin of shoehorn
1580-90; shoe + horn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shoehorn
  • Attorneys will shoehorn into their arguments any information they can find that might further their ends.
  • To try to shoehorn such large issues into this debate is unreasonable.
  • When you spend a lot of time developing it, you almost want to shoehorn it into a situation.
  • So they don't take a model and shoehorn it into someplace.
  • Some of them could shoehorn it through the back door.
British Dictionary definitions for shoehorn


a smooth curved implement of horn, metal, plastic, etc, inserted at the heel of a shoe to ease the foot into it
(transitive) to cram (people or things) into a very small space
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shoehorn

1580s, from shoe (n.) + horn (n.); earlier shoeing-horn (mid-15c.).


in the figurative sense of "to put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool,' " 1859, from shoehorn (n.). Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (mid-17c.), with a play on horn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shoehorn

shock jock

noun phrase

A radio entertainer who uses vulgar and sensational language: The Federal Communications Commission is warning ''shock jocks'' that they will be fined if they broadcast indecent material during daylight hours (late 1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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