1. (Science: anatomy) The joint, or the region of the joint, by which the fore limb is connected with the body or with the shoulder girdle; the projection formed by the bones and muscles about that joint.
2. The flesh and muscles connected with the shoulder joint; the upper part of the back; that part of the human frame on which it is most easy to carry a heavy burden; often used in the plural. Then by main force pulled up, and on his shoulders bore The gates of Azza. (milton) Adown her shoulders fell her length of hair. (Dryden)
3. That which supports or sustains; support. In thy shoulder do I build my seat. (Shak)
4. That which resembles a human shoulder, as any protuberance or projection from the body of a thing. The north western shoulder of the mountain. (Sir W. Scott)
5. The upper joint of the fore leg and adjacent parts of an animal, dressed for market; as, a shoulder of mutton.
6. The angle of a bastion included between the face and flank.
7. An abrupt projection which forms an abutment on an object, or limits motion, etc, as the projection around a tenon at the end of a piece of timber, the part of the top of a type which projects beyond the base of the raised character, etc. Shoulder belt, a belt that passes across the shoulder.
(Science: anatomy) Shoulder blade, a narrow strap worn on the shoulder of a commissioned officer, indicating, by a suitable device, the rank he holds in the service.
Origin: OE. Shulder, shuldre, schutder, AS. Sculdor; akin to D. Schoulder, G. Schulter, OHG. Scultarra, Dan. Skulder, Sw. Skuldra.