shelve

verb

shelved; shelving

transitive verb

1
: to furnish with shelves
2
: to place on a shelf
shelve books
3
a
: to remove from active service
b
: to put off or aside
shelve a project

intransitive verb

: to slope in a formation like a shelf
shelver noun

Example Sentences

The books were shelved according to category. let's shelve the project for now
Recent Examples on the Web Democrats are now rushing to shelve their differences, particularly with holdout Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Nov. 2021 A lousy year or even two is no reason for the Dutch maker of chip-manufacturing equipment to shelve some ambitious expansion plans. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2022 Disillusionment, frustration and family financial troubles ultimately led him to shelve his soccer dreams. Isabelia Herrera, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Finally, Kim’s willingness to shelve any ideas that don’t work and try out new ones has been the key to her business success. Mj Corey, Vogue, 3 Nov. 2022 The studio has already completed a documentary about West, but decided to shelve it after his anti-Semitic comments came to light. Chris Morris, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2022 In addition to announcing their decision to shelve the documentary on West, MRC’s leaders called on others to distance themselves from the star or condemn his statements. Elias Leight, Billboard, 24 Oct. 2022 Manager Brian Snitker has acknowledged the Braves likely have just one shot to rehab and unleash Strider, that a setback would shelve him for the remainder of the playoffs. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2022 In 2016, state officials finalized a plan only to shelve it four years later, citing its high cost. The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

shelf

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shelve was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near shelve

Cite this Entry

“Shelve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shelve. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

shelve

verb
shelved; shelving
1
: to place on a shelf
shelve books
2
: to put off or aside : defer
shelve a project
shelver noun

More from Merriam-Webster on shelve

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY