1

shell

play
noun \ˈshel\

Definition of shell

  1. 1a :  a hard rigid usually largely calcareous covering or support of an animalb :  the hard or tough often thin outer covering of an egg (as of a bird or reptile) — see egg illustration

  2. 2 :  the covering or outside part of a fruit or seed especially when hard or fibrous

  3. 3 :  shell material (as of mollusks or turtles) or their substance

  4. 4 :  something that resembles a shell: such asa :  a framework or exterior structure; especially :  a building with an unfinished interiorb (1) :  an external case or outside covering the shell of a ship (2) :  a thin usually spherical layer or surface enclosing a space or surrounding an object an expanding shell of gas around a neutron starc :  a casing without substance mere effigies and shells of men — Thomas Carlyled :  an edible crust for holding a filling a pastry shell a taco salad in a tortilla shelle :  band shellf :  a small beer glassg :  an unlined article of outerwear

  5. 5 :  a shell-bearing mollusk

  6. 6 :  an impersonal attitude or manner that conceals the presence or absence of feeling he retreated into his shell

  7. 7 :  a narrow light racing boat propelled by one or more persons pulling oars or sculls

  8. 8 :  any of the regions occupied by the orbits of a group of electrons of approximately equal energy surrounding the nucleus of an atom

  9. 9a :  a projectile for cannon containing an explosive bursting chargeb :  a metal or paper case which holds the charge of powder and shot or bullet used with breech-loading small arms

  10. 10 :  a plain usually sleeveless blouse or sweater

  11. 11 :  a company or corporation that exists without assets or independent operations as a legal entity through which another company or corporation can conduct various dealings

shell

adjective

Examples of shell in a Sentence

  1. the shell of a crab

  2. We collected shells at the beach.

  3. We're going to have stuffed shells for dinner.

Recent Examples of shell from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of shell

Middle English, from Old English sciell; akin to Old English scealu shell, Old Norse skel, Lithuanian skelti to split, Greek skallein to hoe


2

shell

verb

Definition of shell

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to take out of a natural enclosing cover (such as a shell, husk, pod, or capsule) shell peanutsb :  to separate the kernels of (corn, wheat, oats, etc.) from the cob, ear, or husk

  3. 2 :  to throw shells at, upon, or into :  bombard

  4. 3 :  to score heavily against (someone, such as an opposing pitcher in baseball)

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to fall or scale off in thin pieces

  7. 2 :  to cast the shell or exterior covering :  fall out of the pod or husk nuts which shell in falling

  8. 3 :  to gather shells (as from a beach)

Examples of shell in a Sentence

  1. They shelled the enemy troops.

  2. The town was shelled during the battle.

Recent Examples of shell from the Web

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

First Known Use of shell

1562



SHELL Defined for English Language Learners

shell

play
noun

Definition of shell for English Language Learners

  • : the hard outer covering of an animal, insect, etc., that protects it

  • : the hard outer covering of an egg

  • : the hard outer covering of a nut, fruit, or seed

shell

verb

Definition of shell for English Language Learners

  • : to remove the shell or outer covering of (something)

  • : to shoot shells at (someone or something) using large guns

  • : to score heavily against (a pitcher) in baseball


SHELL Defined for Kids

1

shell

play
noun \ˈshel\

Definition of shell for Students

  1. 1 :  a stiff hard covering of an animal (as a turtle, oyster, or crab)

  2. 2 :  the tough outer covering of an egg

  3. 3 :  the outer covering of a nut, fruit, or seed especially when hard or tough walnut shells

  4. 4 :  something like a shell (as in shape, function, or material) a pastry shell

  5. 5 :  a narrow light racing boat rowed by one or more persons

  6. 6 :  a metal or paper case holding the explosive charge and the shot or object to be fired from a gun or cannon

shelled

\ˈsheld\ adjective soft-shelled crabs

2

shell

play
verb

Definition of shell for Students

shelled

;

shelling

  1. 1 :  to remove the shell or outer covering of shell nuts

  2. 2 :  to remove the kernels of grain from (as a cob of corn)

  3. 3 :  to shoot shells at or upon They shelled the enemy troops.



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