eggshell

[ eg-shel ]
/ ˈɛgˌʃɛl /
|

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.

Nearby words

  1. eggleston,
  2. eggleston, edward,
  3. eggnog,
  4. eggplant,
  5. eggs benedict,
  6. eggshell porcelain,
  7. egham,
  8. egis,
  9. eglandular,
  10. eglantine

Origin of eggshell

First recorded in 1250–1300, eggshell is from the Middle English word ayschelle. See egg1, shell

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eggshell


British Dictionary definitions for eggshell

eggshell

/ (ˈɛɡˌʃɛl) /

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 sheenan eggshell finish
walk on eggshells to be very cautious or diplomatic for fear of upsetting someone

adjective

of a yellowish-white coloureggshell paint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eggshell

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