Wharf rat
Wharf Wharf, n.; pl. {Wharfs}or {Wharves}. [AS. hwerf, hwearf, a returning, a change, from hweorfan to turn, turn about, go about; akin to D. werf a wharf, G. werft, Sw. varf a shipbuilder's yard, Dan. verft wharf, dockyard, G. werben to enlist, to engage, woo, OHG. werban to turn about, go about, be active or occupied, Icel. hverfa to turn, Goth. hwa['i]rban, hwarb[=o]n, to walk. Cf. {Whirl}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A structure or platform of timber, masonry, iron, earth, or other material, built on the shore of a harbor, river, canal, or the like, and usually extending from the shore to deep water, so that vessels may lie close alongside to receive and discharge cargo, passengers, etc.; a quay; a pier. [1913 Webster]

Commerce pushes its wharves into the sea. --Bancroft. [1913 Webster]

Out upon the wharfs they came, Knight and burgher, lord and dame. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

Note: The plural of this word is generally written wharves in the United States, and wharfs in England; but many recent English writers use wharves. [1913 Webster]

2. [AS. hwearf.] The bank of a river, or the shore of the sea. [Obs.] ``The fat weed that roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Wharf boat}, a kind of boat moored at the bank of a river, and used for a wharf, in places where the height of the water is so variable that a fixed wharf would be useless. [U. S.] --Bartlett.

{Wharf rat}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The common brown rat. (b) A neglected boy who lives around the wharfs. [Slang] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wharf rat — ☆ wharf rat n. 1. any of various rats found around wharves 2. a vagrant or petty criminal who haunts wharves …   English World dictionary

  • wharf rat — noun 1. someone who lives near wharves and lives by pilfering from ships or warehouses • Hypernyms: ↑sneak thief, ↑pilferer, ↑snitcher 2. brown rat that infests wharves • Hypernyms: ↑brown rat, ↑Norway rat, ↑Rattus …   Useful english dictionary

  • wharf rat — 1. a large brown rat that is commonly found on wharves. 2. a person who lives or loiters near wharves, often existing by pilfering from ships or warehouses. [1815 25, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • wharf rat — noun An alternative term for the brown rat …   Wiktionary

  • Wharf — Wharf, n.; pl. {Wharfs}or {Wharves}. [AS. hwerf, hwearf, a returning, a change, from hweorfan to turn, turn about, go about; akin to D. werf a wharf, G. werft, Sw. varf a shipbuilder s yard, Dan. verft wharf, dockyard, G. werben to enlist, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wharf boat — Wharf Wharf, n.; pl. {Wharfs}or {Wharves}. [AS. hwerf, hwearf, a returning, a change, from hweorfan to turn, turn about, go about; akin to D. werf a wharf, G. werft, Sw. varf a shipbuilder s yard, Dan. verft wharf, dockyard, G. werben to enlist,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wharf — late O.E. hwearf shore, bank where ships can tie up, earlier dam, embankment, from P.Gmc. *khwarfaz (Cf. M.L.G. werf mole, dam, wharf, Ger. Werft shipyard, dockyard ); related to O.E. hwearfian to turn, perhaps in a sense implying busy activity,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Wharf Rats — The Wharf Rats are a group of concert goers who have chosen to live drug and alcohol free. Their primary purpose at shows is to make themselves available to anyone who feels the Wharf Rats may have something they want. They announce their… …   Wikipedia

  • rat — ratlike, adj. /rat/, n., interj., v., ratted, ratting. n. 1. any of several long tailed rodents of the family Muridae, of the genus Rattus and related genera, distinguished from the mouse by being larger. 2. any of various similar or related… …   Universalium

  • rat — Synonyms and related words: Angora goat, Arctic fox, Belgian hare, Benedict Arnold, Brutus, Caffre cat, Indian buffalo, Judas, Judas Iscariot, Kodiak bear, Quisling, SOB, Virginia deer, aardvark, aardwolf, alpaca, anteater, antelope, antelope… …   Moby Thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”