The DICT Development Group
2 definitions found
for Wharf rat
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Wharf \Wharf\, n.; pl. Wharfsor 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.]
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
Commerce pushes its wharves into the sea.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame. --Tennyson.
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.
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.
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. (Zool.)
(a) The common brown rat.
(b) A neglected boy who lives around the wharfs. [Slang]
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :
n 1: someone who lives near wharves and lives by pilfering from
ships or warehouses
2: brown rat that infests wharves
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