off-the-shelf

[ awf-thuh-shelf, of- ]
/ ˈɔf ðəˈʃɛlf, ˈɒf- /

adjective

readily available from merchandise in stock.
made according to a standardized format; not developed for specialized or individual needs; ready-made: off-the-shelf computer programs.

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Origin of off-the-shelf

First recorded in 1945–50

Definition for off the shelf (2 of 2)

shelf
[ shelf ]
/ ʃɛlf /

noun, plural shelves [shelvz] /ʃɛlvz/.

a thin slab of wood, metal, etc., fixed horizontally to a wall or in a frame, for supporting objects.
the contents of this: a shelf of books.
a surface or projection resembling this; ledge.
Physical Geography.
  1. a sandbank or submerged extent of rock in the sea or river.
  2. the bedrock underlying an alluvial deposit or the like.
  3. continental shelf.
Archery. the upper part of the bow hand, on which the arrow rests.

Origin of shelf

1350–1400; Middle English; Old English scylfe; akin to Low German schelf shelf, Old Norse -skjalf bench

OTHER WORDS FROM shelf

shelf·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for off the shelf (1 of 2)

off the shelf

adverb

from stock and readily availableyou can have this model off the shelf

adjective (off-the-shelf when prenominal)

of or relating to a product that is readily availablean off-the-shelf model
of or denoting a company that has been registered with the Registrar of Companies for the sole purpose of being sold

British Dictionary definitions for off the shelf (2 of 2)

shelf
/ (ʃɛlf) /

noun plural shelves (ʃɛlvz)

verb

(tr) Australian slang to inform upon

Derived forms of shelf

shelflike, adjective

Word Origin for shelf

Old English scylfe ship's deck; related to Middle Low German schelf shelf, Old English scylf crag
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

Scientific definitions for off the shelf

shelf
[ shĕlf ]

See continental shelf.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with off the shelf (1 of 2)

off the shelf

Ready-made, available from merchandise or in stock, as opposed to a special order. For example, Sometimes you can get a better discount by buying an appliance off the shelf. [First half of 1900s] Also see off the rack; on the shelf.

Idioms and Phrases with off the shelf (2 of 2)

shelf

see off the shelf; on the shelf.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.