\ ˈshelv \
shelved; shelving

Definition of shelve 

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with shelves

2 : to place on a shelf shelve books

3a : to remove from active service

b : to put off or aside shelve a project

intransitive verb

: to slope in a formation like a shelf

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Other words from shelve

shelver noun

Examples of shelve in a Sentence

The books were shelved according to category. let's shelve the project for now

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this year, Univision shelved plans to go public after disappointing financial results. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "Univision Confirms It is Exploring Sale of Fusion Media Group Assets," 10 July 2018 Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone giant, shelved plans to sell Chinese depository receipts on the mainland, but will push ahead with plans to raise as much as $6.1 billion in a Hong Kong listing next month, the SCMP reports citing sources. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Wednesday, June 20," 20 June 2018 At least for now, the new Italian government has shelved talk of pulling out of the European currency. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "A newly populist Italy tests Europe's bonds," 11 June 2018 Eight dry rodent droppings on ground under shelving unit near the juice station. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Rodent poop in a fruit bowl, near soup, on shelves. These restaurants are in deep ...," 7 June 2018 Store shelving units and sinks were reported stolen April 21 from the back room at Subway, 3153 Thatcher Ave. Deborah Kadin,, "After run of bad luck, customer punches slot machine at Stella's in River Grove, police say," 11 May 2018 Xiaomi had a tricky month running up to its flotation Monday, shelving a planned share offering in mainland China in June and pricing its shares at the low end. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Xiaomi Defies Skeptics to Rally in Opening Week," 13 July 2018 The government is accused of shelving a bribery investigation into Emilio Lozoya, a member of Mr Peña’s campaign team who went on to run Pemex, the state oil firm. The Economist, "How Andrés Manuel López Obrador will remake Mexico," 23 June 2018 About a month after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad swept to power, his government has moved swiftly to fulfill campaign pledges including scrapping a goods and services tax and shelving infrastructure projects. Pooi Koon Chong,, "Malaysia’s First Woman Deputy Premier Seeks Tighter Abuse Laws," 11 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of shelve

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shelve


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Statistics for shelve

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shelve

The first known use of shelve was in 1598

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More Definitions for shelve



English Language Learners Definition of shelve

: to put (something) on a shelf

: to stop doing or thinking about (something) for a period of time

: to make (someone) unable to play or perform


\ ˈshelv \
shelved; shelving

Kids Definition of shelve

1 : to place or store on a shelf shelve books

2 : to put off or aside : defer The plan has been shelved for now.

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Comments on shelve

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the setting in which something occurs

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