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noun \ˈshaft\

Simple Definition of shaft

  • : the long, narrow part of a weapon, tool, instrument, etc.

  • : a bar in a machine which holds or turns other parts that move or spin

  • : one of two poles between which a horse is tied to pull a vehicle (such as a carriage)

Full Definition of shaft

plural shafts play \ˈshaf(t)s, for 1b usually ˈshavz\

  1. 1a (1) :  the long handle of a spear or similar weapon (2) :  spear, lanceb or plural shaves play \ˈshavz\ :  pole; specifically :  either of two long pieces of wood between which a horse is hitched to a vehiclec (1) :  an arrow especially for a longbow (2) :  the body or stem of an arrow extending from the nock to the head

  2. 2 :  a sharply delineated beam of light shining through an opening

  3. 3 :  something suggestive of the shaft of a spear or arrow especially in long slender cylindrical form: asa :  the trunk of a treeb :  the cylindrical pillar between the capital and the basec :  the handle of a tool or instrument (as a golf club)d :  a commonly cylindrical bar used to support rotating pieces or to transmit power or motion by rotatione :  the stem or central axis of a featherf :  the upright member of a cross especially below the armsg :  the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged endsh :  a small architectural column (as at each side of a doorway)i :  a column, obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monumentj :  a vertical or inclined opening of uniform and limited cross section made for finding or mining ore, raising water, or ventilating underground workings (as in a cave)k :  the part of a hair that is visible above the surface of the skinl :  a vertical opening or passage through the floors of a building

  4. 4a :  a projectile thrown like a spear or shot like an arrowb :  a scornful, satirical, or pithily critical remark or attackc :  harsh or unfair treatment —usually used with the <gave them the shaft>

Examples of shaft

  1. the shaft of a spear

  2. the shaft of a golf club

Origin of shaft

Middle English, from Old English sceaft; akin to Old High German scaft shaft, Latin scapus shaft, stalk, Greek skēptesthai to prop oneself, lean

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Seed Plant Terms

Rhymes with shaft



transitive verb

Simple Definition of shaft

  • : to treat (someone) unfairly or harshly

Full Definition of shaft

  1. 1 :  to fit with a shaft

  2. 2 :  to treat unfairly or harshly

Examples of shaft

  1. You really got shafted in that deal.


First Known Use of shaft


Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈshaft\

Medical Definition of shaft

plural shafts \ˈshaf(t)s\play

  1. :  a long slender cylindrical body or part: asa:  the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged endsb:  hair shaft

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up shaft? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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