shelf life


Definition of shelf life 

: the period of time during which a material may be stored and remain suitable for use broadly : the period of time during which something lasts or remains popular

Examples of shelf life in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Use our vegetable storage advice for maximizing your bounty’s shelf lifeFor the last of your tomato harvest, the question is always whether to store in the fridge or on the counter. Sunset, "How to Store Your Garden Harvest," 22 Jan. 2018 Our sporting memories have the shelf life of a Cabinet member. Nick Canepa,, "Latest star Laker? Yeah, just forgot all the early great ones," 7 July 2018 The spongy British treats, often served with tea, are moist, so producers use carbon dioxide in packaging to give them a shelf life of about a week. Amie Tsang, New York Times, "U.K. Fears for Its Beer and Crumpets. Blame a Carbon Dioxide Shortage.," 29 June 2018 But the warehouse chain quietly testing technology that could more than double the shelf life of vegetables and fruits. Caitlin Dewey,, "This start-up can make avocados last twice as long before going bad," 19 June 2018 And the Kellogg Company recalled boxes that were within the cereal's one-year shelf life. Devon Elizabeth, SELF, "Update: There Are Now 100 Salmonella Cases Linked to Recalled Honey Smacks Cereal," 13 July 2018 More electric storage and transmission Electricity has no shelf life. Nathanael Johnson, WIRED, "Where Can Climate Activists Find Common Ground?," 9 July 2018 Unlike wax, Apeel is designed to optimize water and oxygen exchange, boosting quality and shelf life, Rogers said. Caitlin Dewey,, "This start-up can make avocados last twice as long before going bad," 19 June 2018 That the avocado’s frustratingly short shelf life had reached meme status was not lost on James Rogers. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Millennials, Rejoice! Costco Is Selling New Avocados That Stay Ripe Twice as Long," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shelf life.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shelf life

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for shelf life

The first known use of shelf life was in 1927

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More Definitions for shelf life

shelf life


English Language Learners Definition of shelf life

: the length of time that food may be stored and still be good to eat

: the length of time during which something or someone lasts or remains popular

shelf life

\ˈshelf-ˌ \

Medical Definition of shelf life 

: the period of time during which a material (as a food or drug) may be stored and remain suitable for use

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