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

Microsoft didn't explain why the games would have a longer shelf life on its newer operating systems. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft is shutting down its online versions of Hearts, Spades, Checkers and more," 14 July 2019 Salt helps to preserve butter, creating a longer shelf life. Lucinda Scala Quinn, Washington Post, "How to put fancy, high-fat butter to its best use," 21 June 2019 Games seem to have a much longer shelf life nowadays. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Outer Worlds' Co-Director Says Game Was Influenced by 'Futurama,' 'Firefly'," 14 June 2019 Arguments about moral failings and missed opportunities have a shelf life longer than Twinkies. Ron Charles, Dallas News, "In Richard Russo's 'Chances Are...,' a charming reunion unearths a chilling disappearance," 30 July 2019 Seed and nut oils are more susceptible to becoming rancid. Extend their shelf life by storing nut oils in the refrigerator. Claire Perez,, "Claire’s tip of the week: How to use different cooking oils," 5 July 2019 Vavrick said graduate students in the program will research product shelf life, nutritional value and microbiological content. Grace Connatser, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Demand is high for food scientists. Mount Mary University launches new advanced degree program.," 24 June 2019 This product has a short shelf life (2 to 3 years), so replace as needed. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "How to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard," 14 June 2019 Blood has a short shelf life, requiring a constant supply of donations. Kyra Haas, azcentral, "Arizona needs more blood donors during summer months; you can help," 10 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of shelf life

1927, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shelf life

Statistics for shelf life

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shelf life

The first known use of shelf life was in 1927

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on shelf life

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shelf life

Comments on shelf life

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!