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as in:  run aground on a shoal

The rocks,  shoals, and currents make it a treacherous journey.
  a sandbank or other stretch of shallow water
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shoals shoal shoaling shoaled
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  • The rocks,  shoals, and currents make it a treacherous journey.
  • His political career crashed on the shoals of unemployment and inflation.
  • dark as a shoal in the blue water that was more than a mile deep
    Ernest Hemingway  --  The Old Man and the Sea
  • Men can’t come down the cliffs, even if there were any men; and the shoals to seaward would knock a ship to splinters.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  The Jungle Book

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  • At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble by the shoals and stepping-stones.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Silver Chair
  • The cow stopped long at the brook to drink, as if the pasture were not half a swamp, and Sylvia stood still and waited, letting her bare feet cool themselves in the shoal water,
    Sarah Jewett  --  A White Heron
  • Another although minor source of food consisted of arctic sculpins: small fishes which lurk under rocks in shoal water.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Hand-shoal, band of warriors.
    Unknown  --  Beowulf
  • In the silence, broken only by the exaggerated oosh shoo of my own breath, I watched shoals of tiny iridescent fish, and larger black-and-white fish, that stared at me with blank, inquisitive faces, and gently swaying anemones filtering the gentle currents of their tiny, unseen haul.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • Near the harbor’s southern slope, however, lay a channel of treacherous shoals, studded here and there with great boulders that still bore the scars of ancient shipwrecks, and as a consequence this southern part of the harbor was always quite still.
    Trenton Lee Stewart  --  The Mysterious Benedict Society

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  • Shoals of clouds swim through the sky.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • We both watched Nathan stiffly shoulder his way to the bar through shoals of shirt-sleeved drinkers.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Later I lounged in my surgery chair, basking dreamily in memories of awaking in a bed of sunbeams, sheets tumbled in blinding shoals of white like the sands of a beach.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Instead —quite unexpectedly — I’d been knocked reeling by the stress of navigating one of the most crowded stores in Manhattan on a Friday close to Christmas: elevators packed, stairwells packed, flowing with shoals of tourists, holiday shoppers jostling five and six deep at the display cases to buy watches and scarves and handbags and carriage clocks and etiquette books and all kinds of extraneous merchandise in Signature Robin’s Egg Blue.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • CHAPTER XV A FEW minutes later Tom was in the shoal water of the bar, wading toward the Illinois shore.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The incredulous tone had vanished and a shoal of reporters and inquirers were already at work elaborating the matter.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • A shoal of Sperm Whales!
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Paddle! Or we shall be driven on the shoals.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring
  • About a month after the appearance of the herrings we were favoured by a visit from other shoals of fish.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • It is nice at high water, but when the tide is out it shoals away to nothing, and there is merely the stream of the Esk, running between banks of sand, with rocks here and there.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • The mopeds parted like fish in a giant shoal.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • I walked down into the shoals.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lightning Thief
  • And it was in their eyes that she saw what she had not seen before in the mirror: the wet ripped hose, the soiled white dress, the sticky, lumpy face powder, the streaked rouge, and the wild wet shoals of hair.
    Toni Morrison  --  Song of Solomon
  • Words float from your tongue like shoals of flapping minnows, like flocks of breathlessh hummingbirds, like rivers of writhing shnakes.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • Something is happening: there’s a commotion, a flurry among the shoals of cars.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Cape becomes bar, and plain shoal, and valley and gorge deep water and channel.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • As I stood sick and confused I saw again the moving thing upon the shoal—there was no mistake now that it was a moving thing—against the red water of the sea.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • Reared in Charleston, he knew every inlet, creek, shoal and rock of the Carolina coast near that port, and he was equally at home in the waters around Wilmington.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • All told, we had scarce two miles to run; but the navigation was delicate, the entrance to this northern anchorage was not only narrow and shoal, but lay east and west, so that the schooner must be nicely handled to be got in.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • There is sometimes a chamber which does not burn in the midst of a conflagration, and in the midst of raging seas, beyond a promontory or at the extremity of a blind alley of shoals, a tranquil nook.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • But cliffs and rock shoals made that place forbidding, so I turned back, swimming off shore, and came in the end to a river, to auspicious water, with smooth beach and a rise that broke the wind.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • There were several other foreigners in the group and they followed Longstreet’s headquarters like a small shoal of colorful fish.
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • If the assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch, With his surcease, success; that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all—here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,— We’d jump the life to come.
    William Shakespeare  --  Macbeth
  • Our boat cruised along a few miles away from that daunting shoal where Captain Cook’s ships wellnigh miscarried on June 10, 1770.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • In days past, before Patroklos died I had a mind to spare the Trojans, took them alive in shoals, and shipped them out abroad.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • He was in high school at the time and hitting some academic shoals.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • To the left of us there was the long uninterrupted shoal, and to the right a high, steep bank heavily overgrown with bushes.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • Long slopes ran swiftly down to where the river spread in stony shoals between high grassy terraces.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Two Towers
  • When the water was all gone, there they were caught in the meshes and among the paddy, shoals of them leaping madly, wet and silver and good to look upon.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • Two of them came on board in less than half an hour, by whom we were guided between certain shoals and rocks, which are very dangerous in the passage, to a large basin, where a fleet may ride in safety within a cable’s length of the town-wall.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • We struck on a shoal in going down the bay, and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea, and were oblig’d to pump almost continually, at which I took my turn.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • We can cross right down yonder off of that shoal, John Grady said.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • At the south, a gentleman may have a shoal of colored children without any disgrace; but if he is known to purchase them, with the view of setting them free, the example is thought to be dangerous to their "peculiar institution," and he becomes unpopular.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • From every land came monks to join; they came even as the fishes come, in shoals; and the monastery added building to building, and yet others to these, and so spread wide its arms and took them in.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • …of ships was round the last low point we had headed; and the last green barge, straw-laden, with a brown sail, had followed; and some ballast-lighters, shaped like a child’s first rude imitation of a boat, lay low in the mud; and a little squat shoal-lighthouse on open piles stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches; and slimy stakes stuck out of the mud, and slimy stones stuck out of the mud, and red landmarks and tidemarks stuck out of the mud, and an old landing-stage and an…
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • Suffice it to observe, that it was a masterpiece of eloquence; and that those passages in which he more particularly traced his own successful career to its source, and warned the younger portion of his auditory from the shoals of ever incurring pecuniary liabilities which they were unable to liquidate, brought a tear into the manliest eye present.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • The violence was returning as it had returned to a bewildered amnesiac on a fishing boat beyond the shoals of a Mediterranean island.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • Then: "Oh, bother these fish!" said Lucy, for a whole shoal of small fat fish, swimming quite close to the surface, had come between her and the Sea People.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Voyage of the Dawn Trader
  • The castle stood on its shoal, nearly abreast of the canoes, for the drift had amounted to miles in the course of the night, and the ark lay fastened to its piles, as both had been left so many hours before.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
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Associated words [difficulty]:   shoal [4]
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