the shell of a crab
We collected shells at the beach.
We're going to have stuffed shells for dinner. Verb
They shelled the enemy troops.
The town was shelled during the battle.
Recent Examples on the Web
Materials: 100% cotton shell Size range: XXS–XXL; available in regular and petite
Colors: Khaki, black
Save on the best trench coats for women with these Banana Republic promo codes.—Paula Lee, Glamour, 29 Nov. 2023 The shell is made from real wax, and the LED light flickers to resemble a traditional candle.—Addie Morton, Southern Living, 28 Nov. 2023 Picture sweet potato crème brûlée inside the shell of a sweet potato: a rummy, spicy sweet potato caramel, and a topper of meringue.—Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023 Eventually, Tsunami hit the house with a single mortar shell.—Bob Seely, Foreign Affairs, 24 Nov. 2023 Its sleek durable shell is just a bonus, which is sure to last for years to come.—Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 Recovered artifacts include two 10-inch artillery shells, grapeshot, canister shots and a sword blade.—Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 During his trip to Ukraine, Austin announced a new $100 million security aid package for Ukraine, which included an unspecified number of those NATO-standard 155mm artillery shells.—Tom Soufi Burridge, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2023 Austin announced that the U.S. military would send approximately $100 million in additional donations of U.S. equipment to Kyiv, including Stinger antiaircraft missiles, artillery shells and cold-weather gear.—Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023
At the same time, the country’s largest private energy provider, DTEK, said that Russians shelled one of its thermal power plants near the front, knocking out power for people in the area.—Marc Santora, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2023 In other Russian attacks in the past day, two civilians were killed by shelling in the southern city of Kherson and one died after a strike on the city of Krasnohorivka in the eastern Donetsk region.—Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 6 Oct. 2023 In retaliation, Israel was shelling targets in Gaza, sometimes killing civilians in the process.—Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Prokudin said that Russian forces shelled Kherson and the surrounding region 62 times over the previous 24 hours, wounding four civilians and damaging one of the city’s libraries.—TIME, 12 Nov. 2023 Explosions echoed from the hillsides overlooking Kiryat Shmona on Friday as residents of this city of 22,000 began to leave after Israeli authorities ordered its evacuation following escalating shelling from militants in Lebanon.—WSJ, 21 Oct. 2023 Just weeks after the war’s end, Egypt sank the Eilat, an Israeli naval destroyer, and Israel retaliated by shelling Egyptian cities along the Suez Canal.—Uri Kaufman, Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2023 Snack on foods that take more effort to eat (like shelled nuts, edamame, or fruit with a peel) to keep your mind off of eating unhealthy foods.—Kristine Thomason, Health, 2 Nov. 2023 His parents’ butcher shop was shelled earlier this year.—James Verini Paolo Pellegrin, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Old English sciell; akin to Old English scealu shell, Old Norse skel, Lithuanian skelti to split, Greek skallein to hoe
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a