Oar vs. Row

By Jaxson

  • Oar

    An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. Oars have a flat blade at one end. Rowers grasp the oar at the other end.

    The difference between oars and paddles are that oars only have one blade, and are used exclusively for rowing, whereas paddles can have either one or two blade and are not rowed. Oars for rowing are generally connected to the vessel by means of rowlocks or tholes which transmit the applied force to the boat. In this system (known as a second class lever) the water is the fulcrum. By contrast, paddles, like those used by canoeists, are held in both hands by the paddler, and are not attached to the vessel.

    Rowers generally face the stern of the vessel, reach towards the stern, and insert the blade of their oar in the water. As they lean back, towards the vessel’s bow, the blade of their oars sweeps the water towards the stern, providing forward thrust – see lever.

    For thousands of years vessels were powered either by sails, or the mechanical work of rowers, or paddlers. Some ancient vessels were propelled by either oars or sail, depending on the speed and direction of the wind (see galley).

  • Oar (noun)

    An rowed from the other end and being normally fastened to the vessel.

  • Oar (noun)

    An oarsman; a rower.

    “He is a good oar.”

  • Oar (noun)

    An oar-like swimming organ of various invertebrates.

  • Oar (verb)

    To row; to travel with, or as if with, oars.

  • Row (noun)

    A line of objects, often regularly spaced, such as seats in a theatre, vegetable plants in a garden etc.

  • Row (noun)

    A line of entries in a table, etc., going from left to right, as opposed to a column going from top to bottom.


  • Row (noun)

    An act or instance of rowing.

    “I went for an early-morning row.”

  • Row (noun)

    An exercise performed with a pulling motion of the arms towards the back.

  • Row (noun)

    A noisy argument.

    “argument|disturbance|fight|fracas|quarrel|shouting match|slanging match”

  • Row (noun)

    A continual loud noise.

    “Who’s making that row?”


  • Row (verb)

    To propel (a boat or other craft) over water using oars.

  • Row (verb)

    To transport in a boat propelled with oars.

    “to row the captain ashore in his barge”

  • Row (verb)

    To be moved by oars.

    “The boat rows easily.”

  • Row (verb)

    to argue noisily


  • Oar (noun)

    a pole with a flat blade, used to row or steer a boat through the water

    “she pulled hard on the oars”

  • Oar (noun)

    an oarsman; a rower

    “I was stroke oar and John was in the bow”

  • Oar (verb)

    propel with or as if with oars; row

    “oaring through the weeds”

    “oaring the sea like madmen”

Oxford Dictionary

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