A pair of shovels



  • A hand tool with a handle, used for moving portions of material such as earth, snow, and grain from one place to another, with some forms also used for digging. Not to be confused with a spade, which is designed solely for small-scale digging and incidental tasks such as chopping of small roots.
  • A mechanical part of an excavator with a similar function.
  • A spade.


  • To move materials with a shovel.
  • To move with a shoveling motion.


  • From Middle English shovele, schovel, showell, shoule, shole (> English dialectal shoul, shool), from Old English scofl ("shovel"), from Proto-Germanic *skuflō, *skūflō, equivalent to shove + -el.
  • Cognate with Scots shuffle, shule, shuil, Saterland Frisian Sköifel ("shovel"), West Frisian skoffel, schoffel, Dutch schoffel ("spade, hoe"), Low German Schüfel, Schuffel, German Schaufel ("shovel"), Danish skovl ("shovel"), Swedish skyffel, skovel, Icelandic skófla ("shovel").

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