Definition of shoveler in US English:


(British shoveller)


  • 1A dabbling duck with a long broad bill.

    Genus Anas, family Anatidae: four species, in particular A. clypeata of Eurasia and North America

    • ‘The short list includes gadwalls, wigeons, mallards, shovelers, mottled ducks and pintails.’
    • ‘Far less abundant and therefore more highly prized are pintails and shovelers.’
    • ‘The shovelers and pintails have reached the northern plains and have spread through much of Alaska.’
    • ‘On another side of the lake, we scoped a raft of Ruddy Ducks and shovelers, and a few pelicans even farther away.’
    • ‘Down in the pond there were mallards, northern shovelers, coots and a few gallinules.’
  • 2A person or thing that shovels something.

    ‘a snow shoveler’
    • ‘Jurgis is hired at Brown's Meat packing plant as a shoveler.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It was November 1942 and I was a coal shoveller.’’
    • ‘I am clearly a right-handed shoveller because trying to shovel with my left hand was like trying to shovel with a spoon - painful to watch.’
    • ‘When the shovelers come by, they shovel the bread, rats and spoiled meat into the sausage vats.’
    • ‘As Bella Vista's shovelers work into the late-afternoon twilight, the faint chiming of church bells wafts over from the nearby town center.’
    • ‘Why is Joe, a Fifties Edinburgh bohemian, so fascinated by forsaking his middle-class existence to become a coal shoveller?’
    • ‘Early studies of shovel design efficiency in coal mining concluded that shovels should have short handles and that shovelers could work at about 21 scoops per minute, moving loads of 11 to 24 pounds.’


Late Middle English (denoting a spoonbill): alteration of earlier shovelard, from shovel, perhaps influenced by mallard.