9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hwawrf, wawrf] /ʰwɔrf, wɔrf/
noun, plural wharves
[hwawrvz, wawrvz] /ʰwɔrvz, wɔrvz/ (Show IPA),
a structure built on the shore of or projecting into a harbor, stream, etc., so that vessels may be moored alongside to load or unload or to lie at rest; quay; pier.
  1. a riverbank.
  2. the shore of the sea.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a wharf or wharves.
to place or store on a wharf:
The schedule allowed little time to wharf the cargo.
to accommodate at or bring to a wharf:
The new structure will wharf several vessels.
verb (used without object)
to tie up at a wharf; dock:
The ship wharfed in the early morning.
Origin of wharf
before 1050; Middle English (noun); Old English hwearf embankment; cognate with Middle Low German warf; akin to German Werf pier
Can be confused
dock, harbor, pier, wharf (see synonym study at harbor) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wharf
  • However, the program was so successful they re-created it in a fishing and tackle shed on a nearby wharf.
  • The bridge and wharf contracts are awarded in the state capital.
  • As this seaside drama rushed toward its denouement, a horse-drawn cab pulled up to the wharf.
  • He stops and asks a guy fishing on the wharf what day it is.
  • In warm weather a truck in the street, a convenient out-house, or a dug-out in a hay-barge at the wharf make good bunks.
  • Local artisans display their wares in the large hall at the wharf.
  • Upgrade existing wharf to improve its seismic resistance by strengthening the existing caissons.
  • Buried beneath river sediment is an archaeological treasure of streets, building foundations and the wharf.
  • The wharf and pipelines would still present a continuous potential for a pipeline spill release.
British Dictionary definitions for wharf


noun (pl) wharves (wɔːvz), wharfs
a platform of timber, stone, concrete, etc, built parallel to the waterfront at a harbour or navigable river for the docking, loading, and unloading of ships
(NZ) the wharves, the working area of a dock
an obsolete word for shore1
verb (transitive)
to moor or dock at a wharf
to provide or equip with a wharf or wharves
to store or unload on a wharf
Word Origin
Old English hwearf heap; related to Old Saxon hwarf, Old High German hwarb a turn, Old Norse hvarf circle
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 wharf

late Old English hwearf "shore, bank where ships can tie up," earlier "dam, embankment," from Proto-Germanic *khwarfaz (cf. Middle Low German werf "mole, dam, wharf," German Werft "shipyard, dockyard"); related to Old English hwearfian "to turn," perhaps in a sense implying "busy activity," from PIE root *kwerp- "to turn, revolve" (cf. Old Norse hverfa "to turn round," German werben "to enlist, solicit, court, woo," Gothic hvairban "to wander," Greek kartos "wrist," Sanskrit surpam "winnowing fan"). Wharf rat "person who hangs around docks" is recorded from 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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