- any of up to seven energy levels on which an electron may exist within an atom, the energies of the electrons on the same level being equal and on different levels being unequal.
- a group of nucleons of approximately the same energy.
- a scab on the surface of an ingot.
- a length of unfinished tubing.
- a pierced forging.
- a hollow object made by deep drawing.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of shell
Definition for shell (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for shell
Their friends noticed, and asked Sabrine to talk to him to bring him out of his shell a little.
Another said just the act of spending money on self-improvement made him determined to break out of his shell.
Yet five years later, the news operation has vanished and TRN is now a shell of its former self.
That August, she and Camp co-wrote the first Marcel the Shell video.The Casual Genius of Jenny Slate: ‘Marcel the Shell,’ ‘Obvious Child,’ and the Ghost of ‘SNL’|Kevin Fallon|October 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I think the problem is the scientists who are getting money from Shell Oil and Exxon Mobil.
You see, I've got the thick part of a snail's shell in my tooth and the minute that is out I'll be all right.'The Club at Crow's Corner|James Otis
It mostly consisted of how the inner man should be sustained, and of anecdotes of agility in avoiding shot and shell.South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. IV (of 6)|Louis Creswicke
A "padré" entered, supporting a young officer of the ——, a far worse case of shell shock, and laid him out on the bed.Attack|Edward G. D. Liveing
Whatever the trajectory may be we see that the shell must necessarily arrive in a slanting direction.The Romance of War Inventions|Thomas W. Corbin
Always ready to send shot and shell into a bulging speck in the sky that does not return the luminous signals.
British Dictionary definitions for shell (1 of 2)
- a class of electron orbits in an atom in which the electrons have the same principal quantum number and orbital angular momentum quantum number and differences in their energy are small compared with differences in energy between shells
- an analogous energy state of nucleons in certain theories (shell models) of the structure of the atomic nucleus
Word Origin for shell
British Dictionary definitions for shell (2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for shell (1 of 2)
Old English sciell, scill, Anglian scell "seashell, eggshell," related to Old English scealu "shell, husk," from Proto-Germanic *skaljo "piece cut off; shell; scale" (cf. West Frisian skyl "peel, rind," Middle Low German schelle "pod, rind, egg shell," Gothic skalja "tile"), with the shared notion of "covering that splits off," from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut, cleave" (cf. Old Church Slavonic skolika "shell," Russian skala "bark, rind;" see scale (n.1)). Italian scaglia "chip" is from Germanic.
Sense of "mere exterior" is from 1650s; that of "hollow framework" is from 1791. Meaning "structure for a band or orchestra" is attested from 1938. Military use (1640s) was first of hand grenades, in reference to the metal case in which the gunpowder and shot were mixed; the notion is of a "hollow object" filled with explosives. Hence shell shock, first recorded 1915. Shell game "a swindle" is from 1890, from a version of three-card monte played with a pea and walnut shells.
Word Origin and History for shell (1 of 2)
1560s, "to remove (a nut, etc.) from a shell," from shell (n.). The meaning "to bombard with shells" is first attested 1856. To shell out "disburse" (1801) is a figurative use from the image of extracting nuts. Related: Shelled; shelling.
Science definitions for shell
- The usually hard outer covering of certain animals, such as mollusks, insects, and turtles.
- The hard outer covering of a bird's egg.
- The hard outer covering of a seed, nut, or fruit.
- A set of electron orbitals that have nearly the same energy. Electrons in outer shells have greater energy than those in shells closer to the nucleus. Elements in the Periodic Table range from the lightest elements with electrons normally occupying one shell (hydrogen and helium) to the heaviest, with electrons in seven shells (radium and uranium, for instance). See more at atomic spectrum orbital subshell. See Note at metal.
- Any of the stable states of other particles or collections of particles (such as the nucleons in an atomic nucleus) at a given energy or small range of energies.
Idioms and Phrases with shell
In addition to the idiom beginning with shell
- shell out
- in one's shell