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

A year later, Bookchin formally laid out his objections to Sanders in a pungent and unforgiving essay for Socialist Review, which has had a long shelf life online as a reference for left-wing criticisms of Sanders. Matthew Zeitlin, The New Republic, "Bernie’s Red Vermont," 13 June 2019 In pilots the technology moved product faster through distribution centers and reduced the amount of food nearing the end of its shelf life that gets sent out to stores for quick sale. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Food Lion, Other Grocers Will Use AI for Food Suppliers," 27 Mar. 2019 Winemakers have long known that food packaging innovations could bring down wine’s cost and increase its shelf life, but they have been thwarted by an instinctive resistance to change among wine drinkers. Marnie Old,, "Great Wine Values: Underwood Pinot Noir," 29 May 2018 The process hardens the oil, extending its shelf life and giving products like icing and cupcakes a creamy texture, but the product also wreaks havoc on the human circulation system. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "Trans Fats Should be Eliminated Worldwide by 2023, W.H.O. Says," 14 May 2018 Their relationship has a shelf life, though, because Natasha's family is being deported to Jamaica. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Charles Melton Reveals the First Thing He Noticed About Camila Mendes," 15 May 2019 Pre-Jobs, we were considered a crazy liability, that our shelf life was [until] the company got a CFO and then VCs brought in gray hair management. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Snap will get acquired before 2020, probably by Amazon," 28 Sep. 2018 Milk, bread, and eggs have also been noticed as a natural disaster preparation trifecta (dubbed the Trinity of Winter-Storm Panic-Shopping by the Atlantic), despite their short shelf life. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why some people buy Pop-Tarts and liquor before a hurricane — and some people don’t prepare at all.," 12 Sep. 2018 Agriculture with its shorter shelf life is tied more closely to the short-term ups and downs of the markets. NBC News, "In Trump's trade war, China takes aim at vulnerable counties," 24 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

18 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce shelf life (audio) \

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shelf life

Comments on shelf life

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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