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.

Nearby words

  1. shelbyville,
  2. sheldon,
  3. sheldrake,
  4. shelduck,
  5. shelepin,
  6. shelf angle,
  7. shelf fungus,
  8. shelf ice,
  9. shelf life,
  10. shelf mark

Idioms

    off the shelf, readily available from merchandise in stock: Any of those parts can be purchased off the shelf.
    on the shelf, Informal.
    1. put aside temporarily; postponed.
    2. inactive; useless.
    3. without prospects of marriage, as after having broken an engagement.

Origin of shelf

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

Related formsshelf·like, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for shelf


British Dictionary definitions for shelf

shelf

/ (ʃɛlf) /

noun plural shelves (ʃɛlvz)

verb

(tr) Australian slang to inform upon
Derived Formsshelflike, 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

Word Origin and History for shelf
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for 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 shelf

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.