\ ˈshelv How to pronounce shelve (audio) \
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 policy was shelved, though, prior to last season. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans WR Kenny Stills kneels for national anthem," 9 Sep. 2019 The DeepMind Health brand was shelved, and Suleyman was removed from the day-to-day running of the unit. Mark Bergen, Fortune, "Google DeepMind Co-Founder Placed on Leave From AI Lab," 21 Aug. 2019 However, those plans, and other movie entries, were shelved after the poor performance of another spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story, in summer 2018. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Star Wars': Ewan McGregor in Talks for an Obi-Wan Kenobi Series for Disney+," 15 Aug. 2019 In the face of protests, the company’s plan was eventually shelved. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Google employees ‘refuse to be complicit’ in border agency cloud contract," 14 Aug. 2019 But he was shelved for the season after being the victim of an assault in Baltimore. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Kaare Vedvik shows off big leg, but Vikings don’t know yet if he’s a kicker or punter," 12 Aug. 2019 After middling box-office returns and a thorough critical flaying, plans for a film sequel were shelved. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "“Hobbs & Shaw” proves the Fast and Furious franchise will never crash and burn," 5 Aug. 2019 Already, lawmakers have shelved a proposal to allow local governments to control rents on properties more than 20 years old with exemptions for smaller landlords, and a separate measure requiring landlords to list a reason before evicting a tenant. Liam Dillon,, "Rent control could be back on the California ballot in 2020," 25 June 2019 In 2013, lawmakers debated but ultimately shelved a proposal to reinstate the punishment after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. Washington Post, "Killing of police officer renews calls for death penalty," 18 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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for shelve

The first known use of shelve was in 1598

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More Definitions for shelve


How to pronounce shelve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shelve

: to put (something) on a shelf
: to stop doing or thinking about (something) for a period of time
US : to make (someone) unable to play or perform


\ ˈshelv How to pronounce shelve (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on shelve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shelve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shelve

Spanish Central: Translation of shelve

Nglish: Translation of shelve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shelve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shelve

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a calculated move

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