Definition of shove in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ʃʌv/


[with object]
1Push (someone or something) roughly: police started pushing and shoving people down the street [no object]: kids pushed, kicked, and shoved
More example sentences
  • Prisoners were pushing and shoving each other trying to get a better view of what was going on.
  • As I stand in shock, Riley pushes me to the side and then forcefully shoves me into a chair.
  • Finally, he was shoved down into a chair and his ankles were handcuffed to the legs of the chairs.
push, thrust, propel, impel;
send, press, drive, plunge, stick, force, shoot, ram, barge, bump, knock, strike, hit, jolt, butt, prod, poke, nudge, elbow, shoulder;
bulldoze, sweep, jostle, bundle, hustle, hurry, rush, manhandle
1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Make one’s way by pushing someone or something: Woolley shoved past him
More example sentences
  • The children shoved past him - pushing him back into his hallway - jeering and swearing.
  • Blue yanked her coat on, shoving past them and locking the door with fumbling fingers.
  • She glared at him and shoved past him, throwing open the door to the women's restroom.
push (one's way), force one's way, barge (one's way), elbow (one's way), shoulder one's way, muscle, bludgeon one's way, plunge, crash, bulldoze, sweep, bundle, hustle, hurry, rush
1.2 [with object and adverbial of place] Put (something) somewhere carelessly or roughly: she shoved the books into her briefcase
More example sentences
  • I just picked up all my books and shoved them into my locker as fast as my body could work.
  • Ryan tossed his black messenger bag on the desk and shoved his binder and books into it.
  • Sara shoved her math books on the shelf and stuffed a blue lunchbag into her backpack.
1.3 (shove it) informal Used to express angry dismissal of something: I told the selectors to shove it
More example sentences
  • This is why an artist should do their own thing, and tell their managers to shove it when they offer ‘helpful’ advice.
  • And I have had other people talking about me being just, you know, disgusting and they can shove it.
  • What did you think of your stepmother telling somebody to shove it?


A strong push: she gave him a hefty shove and he nearly fell
More example sentences
  • With a strong shove, they were pushed away from the dock and out into the murky waters.
  • With a strong shove, he slides the book over to her.
  • Jamie gave Alex a shove in the shoulder, pushing him toward the side gate.
push, thrust, barge, ram, bump, bang, jolt, butt, knock, prod, poke, nudge, elbow, shoulder, jostle

Phrasal verbs


shove off

1 [usually in imperative] informal Go away: shove off—you’re bothering the customers
go away, depart, leave, take off, get out, get out of my sight;
go, go your way, get going, take oneself off, get moving, move off, be off, set off, set out, start out, make a start, take one's leave, decamp, duck out, take wing, walk out, walk off;
be off with you!, shoo!
informal hit the road, fly, skedaddle, split, vamoose, scat, scram, make oneself scarce, be on one's way, run along, beat it, get, get lost, push off, buzz off, clear off, skip off, pop off, go (and) jump in the lake
on your bike!, go and chase yourself!
British informal get along, push along, get stuffed, sling your hook, hop it, hop the twig/stick, bog off, naff off
North American informal bug off, light out, haul off, haul ass, take a powder, hit the trail, take a hike
Australian informal nick off
Australian/New Zealand informal rack off
South African informal voetsak, hamba
vulgar slang bugger off, piss off, fuck off
British vulgar slang sod off
literary begone, avaunt
2Push away from the shore in a boat: we shoved off into the sound toward the island
More example sentences
  • Huck finally escapes from the deserted house in the woods and finds a canoe to shove off down the river.
  • Laughing angrily at herself, she jumped into the rough boat and shoved off.
  • I suddenly made up my mind, and with a few quick steps I was beside the boat, tossing in my buckets and shoving off.

shove up

British informal Move oneself to make room for someone.


Old English scūfan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schuiven and German schieben, also to shuffle.

Words that rhyme with shove

above, dove, glove, guv, love, tug-of-love

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shove

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.