noun \ˈshaft\

: 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)

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

Full Definition of SHAFT

a (1) :  the long handle of a spear or similar weapon (2) :  spear, lance
b or plural shaves \ˈshavz\ :  pole; specifically :  either of two long pieces of wood between which a horse is hitched to a vehicle
c (1) :  an arrow especially for a longbow
(2) :  the body or stem of an arrow extending from the nock to the head
:  a sharply delineated beam of light shining through an opening
:  something suggestive of the shaft of a spear or arrow especially in long slender cylindrical form: as
a :  the trunk of a tree
b :  the cylindrical pillar between the capital and the base
c :  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 rotation
e :  the stem or central axis of a feather
f :  the upright member of a cross especially below the arms
g :  the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged ends
h :  a small architectural column (as at each side of a doorway)
i :  a column, obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument
j :  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 skin
l :  a vertical opening or passage through the floors of a building
a :  a projectile thrown like a spear or shot like an arrow
b :  a scornful, satirical, or pithily critical remark or attack
c :  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

Related to SHAFT

Other Seed Plant Terms

aubergine, box, bramble, briar, composite, perpetual, pulse, trefoil

Rhymes with SHAFT


transitive verb

: to treat (someone) unfairly or harshly

Full Definition of SHAFT

:  to fit with a shaft
:  to treat unfairly or harshly

Examples of SHAFT

  1. You really got shafted in that deal.

First Known Use of SHAFT



noun \ˈshaft\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural shafts \ˈshaf(t)s\

Medical Definition of SHAFT

:  a long slender cylindrical body or part: as a :  the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged ends b :  hair shaft
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears