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quote:
Support by placing against something solid or rigid


Hi, Joshua,

Dictionaries usually define words by means of words of the same category as the ones defined: verbs are defined by means of verbs, nouns by means of nouns, adjectives by means of adjectives (or prepositional phrases of adjectival value), etc.

"shore up" is a verb in the infinitive and is correctly defined by means of another verb in the infinitive, which is "support."

"by placing against something solid or rigid" is a prepositional phrase used to explain how the action of supporting is performed. Though grammatically correct, I don't think that's a good definition. Actually, when something is shored up, something solid or rigid is placed against the thing being shored up. For example, if a wall is shored up, it is supported by placing beams against the wall, not by placing the wall against beams (you cannot move the wall, but you can move the beams).

In my opinion, a better definition would be:

- shore up: support by placing something solid or rigid to prevent the thing supported from falling.

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