When to Use the Useful Idiomatic Expression “Shore Up”?

Last Updated on April 18, 2022

“Shore up” is an idiomatic phrase that you may come across quite often in conversation and writing. If you are thinking this phrase has something to do with the beach, then keep reading on to learn why it doesn’t. Here you will find the real meaning of the phrase “shore up” and will gain some further knowledge by reading about its origin. You will also see the phrase used in some example sentences and conversations to help you better understand and use the phrase correctly for yourself. Finally, you will explore some suggested alternative words and phrases to use in place of the phrase “shore up” that relate the same meaning.

Shore Up

Shore Up Meaning

The idiom “shore up” means to prop up or support something with the means or strength of something else to survive some sort of impending damage or when the damage has already been done and further damage is trying to be prevented.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

The phrase “shore up” comes from an old but still accepted definition of the word “shore.” Although most people think beach when they hear the word “shore,” one of the older meanings of this word is to support or prop up. The word “shore” in this sense was used first in the year 1340 and was recorded being used for the first time figuratively in the year 1581.

“Shore Up” Examples

Example Sentences

  • It is often customary practice in areas plagued by hurricanes to shore up home before evacuating the area.
  • During the trial, the lawyer used all the evidence to shore up her case against the defendant.
  • They tried to shore up the failing economy by means of tax increases.
  • She used this evidence to shore up her argument.
  • He used this evidence to shore up his opinion.
  • The democracies of the West may find it hard to shore up their defences.
  • We had to shore up the damaged wall.
  • It was like trying to shore up a wall of quicksand.
  • Now we’re working real hard to shore up back court.

Example Conversations

A conversation between a girlfriend and her boyfriend.

  • Girlfriend: I think we need to make every effort to shore up our relationship.
  • Boyfriend: Yes, especially since we are both going off to college next year and it will be difficult.
  • Girlfriend: My thoughts exactly.

A conversation between two co-workers in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: Practices around here have become very loose.
  • Co-worker 2: Yes, we need to enforce all of the safety protocols we have in place to prevent further injuries.
  • Co-worker 1: I agree. We need to shore up and apply all the rules to everyone.

Alternatives to “Shore Up”

There are several words that you could use in place of the phrase “shore up” to convey the same meaning. Some of these include:

  • Support
  • Reinforce
  • Strengthen

Shore Up Meaning | Image

Shore Up Pin


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