\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

That drive has since been shelved indefinitely as the company works to improve the safety of the existing version of Autopilot, which came under scrutiny earlier this year after it was involved in a small number of accidents and deaths. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Elon Musk reportedly asks Tesla employees to test full self-driving version of Autopilot," 28 Sep. 2018 Depending on the severity of Greene’s injury — he was expected to undergo further testing, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters before Monday’s series finale against the Blue Jays — he could be shelved through the All-Star break. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Why Detroit Tigers may struggle to trade Shane Greene, Leonys Martin," 2 July 2018 Just over three months later, Buerkle shelved regulations that had been almost 15 years in the making and opted instead for voluntary standards. Juliet Eilperin,, "Emails reveal close rapport between top EPA officials and those they regulate," 1 July 2018 Any transfer talk is likely to be shelved until after the World Cup however, with Lewandowski currently preparing for the this summer's showpiece event with Poland., "Robert Lewandowski Edging Closer to Bayern Exit After Telling Chiefs He Wants a 'New Challenge'," 30 May 2018 Although an earlier proposal had to be shelved around the time of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland back in 2016, Briley said the city may be revisiting the possibility of Bike Share stations around town. Thomas Jewell,, "Cleveland Heights introduces green infrastructure initiatives," 25 Apr. 2018 That plan was shelved on the final day of the Legislature's recent session, which ended May 4. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "March for Our Lives Arizona leaders speak out on Twitter: #IfIDieInASchoolShooting; plan vigil," 20 May 2018 Tall shelving units work well in these spaces and are perfect for storing games, crafts and artwork. Detroit Free Press, "6 ways to make the most of your dining room space," 21 June 2018 Mount Wutai, in Shanxi province, has mulled IPO plans since 2010, but was reported this week as having shelved them in December. The Economist, "China’s holy sites list on the stockmarket," 26 Apr. 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

20 Nov 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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