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shelf

play
noun \ˈshelf\

Simple Definition of shelf

  • : a flat board which is attached to a wall, frame, etc., and on which objects can be placed

  • geology : a flat area of rock, sand, etc., especially underwater

Full Definition of shelf

plural shelves play \ˈshelvz\

  1. 1a :  a thin flat usually long and narrow piece of material (as wood) fastened horizontally (as on a wall) at a distance from the floor to hold objectsb :  one of several similar pieces in a closet, bookcase, or similar structurec :  the contents of a shelf <the author of a shelf of best sellers>

  2. 2 :  something resembling a shelf in form or position: asa :  a sandbank or ledge of rocks usually partially submergedb :  a flat projecting layer of rockc :  the submerged gradually sloping border of a continent or island :  continental shelf

shelf·ful play \ˈshelf-ˌfu̇l\ noun
shelf·like play \ˈshelf-ˌlīk\ adjective
off the shelf
  1. :  available from stock :  not made to order <off the shelf equipment>

on the shelf
  1. :  in a state of inactivity or uselessness

Examples of shelf

  1. Put the vase on the shelf.

  2. the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet

  3. Will you get that book down off the shelf?

  4. We don't have much shelf space.



Origin of shelf

Middle English, probably from Old English scylfe; akin to Old Norse hlīthskjalf Odin's seat


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms

Rhymes with shelf



SHELF Defined for Kids

shelf

play
noun \ˈshelf\

Definition of shelf

plural shelves \ˈshelvz\

  1. 1 :  a flat piece (as of wood or metal) set above a floor (as on a wall or in a bookcase) to hold things

  2. 2 :  a flat area (as of rock)




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