- 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.
Origin of shell
OTHER WORDS FROM shellshell-less, adjectiveshell-like, adjectivede-shell, verb (used with object)
Other definitions for shell (2 of 2)
usage note for she'll
How to use shell in a sentence
The newest coach seats drop the upholstery and, instead, are shells molded to the human spine.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room|Clive Irving|November 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mothers pushed their children's heads down and they sped through town, leaving a trail of machine-gun shells in their wake.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis|Nina Strochlic|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
An exuberant game of football takes place, then the sound of shells is heard, and both sides repair back to their enemy positions.How Monty The Penguin Won Christmas: Britain’s Epic, Emotional Commercials|Tim Teeman|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Once emblematic of American military muscle, the outposts are now skeletal shells.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley|Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman|November 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In 1957 the U.S. Army first fielded artillery able to fire shells with atomic warheads.
First a shower of shells dropping all along the lower ridges and out over the surface of the Bay.
From dawn to breakfast time all hands busy slinging shells—modern war sinews—piles of them—aboard.
The shells came from Asia and Achi Baba:—in a fiery shower, they fell upon the lines of our front trenches.
But, before they can be used for this purpose, these leaves are coated with lime made from oyster shells and then folded up.Alila, Our Little Philippine Cousin|Mary Hazelton Wade
On the 18th fifty heavy shells, including 12-inch and 14-inch, dropped out of the blue vault of heaven on to the Anzacs.
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
Derived forms of shellshell-less, adjectiveshelly, adjective
Word Origin for shell
British Dictionary definitions for shell (2 of 2)
Scientific 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.
Other Idioms and Phrases with shell
In addition to the idiom beginning with shell
- shell out
- in one's shell