EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun the shell of a bird's egg, consisting of keratin fibers and calcite crystals. a pale yellowish-white color. rather bulky paper having a slightly rough finish. adjective like an eggshell, as in thinness and delicacy; very brittle; fragile. being pale yellowish-white in color. having little or no gloss: eggshell white paint. Origin of eggshell
First recorded in
is from the
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for eggshell Historical Examples of eggshell British Dictionary definitions for eggshell noun the hard porous protective outer layer of a bird's egg, consisting of calcite and protein a yellowish-white colour a type of paper with a slightly rough finish (modifier) (of paint) having a very slight sheen an eggshell finish walk on eggshells to be very cautious or diplomatic for fear of upsetting someone adjective of a yellowish-white colour eggshell paint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for eggshell n.
early 15c., from
egg (n.) + shell (n.). Earlier ay-schelle (c.1300). Emblematic of "thin and delicate" from 1835; as a color term, from 1894. The figure of treading on eggshells "to move cautiously" is attested by 1734.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper