shelf

noun
\ ˈshelf How to pronounce shelf (audio) \
plural shelves\ ˈshelvz How to pronounce shelf (audio) \

Definition of shelf

1a : a thin flat usually long and narrow piece of material (such as wood) fastened horizontally (as on a wall) at a distance from the floor to hold objects
b : one of several similar pieces in a closet, bookcase, or similar structure
c : the contents of a shelf the author of a shelf of best sellers
2 : something resembling a shelf in form or position: such as
a : a sandbank or ledge of rocks usually partially submerged
b : a flat projecting layer of rock
c : the submerged gradually sloping border of a continent or island : continental shelf
off the shelf
: available from stock : not made to order off the shelf equipment
on the shelf
: in a state of inactivity or uselessness

Other Words from shelf

shelfful \ ˈshelf-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce shelf (audio) \ noun
shelflike \ ˈshelf-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shelf (audio) \ adjective

Examples of shelf in a Sentence

Put the vase on the shelf. the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet Will you get that book down off the shelf? We don't have much shelf space.
Recent Examples on the Web Wang said that, aside from the electrolyte, most of the materials in the battery were standard off-the-shelf components and compatible with the large-scale manufacturing facilities that Northvolt is building. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 21 July 2022 Stripe, Paypal and other off-the-shelf solutions are available options for consideration. Mohak Nahta, Forbes, 19 July 2022 The General said that his two off-the-shelf radios were jammed constantly. New York Times, 28 June 2022 Of the $1 billion pledge from the U.S., only slightly more than one-third of that will be rapid, off-the-shelf deliveries by the Pentagon, and the rest will be available over a longer term. Andrea Rosa And Jamey Keaten, Anchorage Daily News, 21 June 2022 Of the $1 billion pledge from the U.S., only slightly more than one-third of that will be rapid, off-the-shelf deliveries by the Pentagon, and the rest will be available over a longer term. John Leicester And David Keyton, Chicago Tribune, 20 June 2022 The American aid package includes $350 million in rapid, off-the-shelf deliveries by the Pentagon and $650 million in other longer-term purchases. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 17 June 2022 The process was never fully automated, and used off-the-shelf robotic arms to spread sauce and insert pizzas into the oven while humans applied toppings and shaped the dough. Sam Deanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 QuayChain appears to be assembling off-the-shelf products, including existing AI technology on Intel devices, to process images and beam the results through a wireless network. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of shelf

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shelf

Middle English, probably from Old English scylfe; akin to Old Norse hlīthskjalf Odin's seat

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Time Traveler for shelf

Time Traveler

The first known use of shelf was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near shelf

shelduck

shelf

shelf angle

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Statistics for shelf

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shelf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shelf. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for shelf

shelf

noun
\ ˈshelf How to pronounce shelf (audio) \
plural shelves\ ˈshelvz \

Kids Definition of shelf

1 : a flat piece (as of wood or metal) set above a floor (as on a wall or in a bookcase) to hold things
2 : a flat area (as of rock)

More from Merriam-Webster on shelf

Nglish: Translation of shelf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shelf for Arabic Speakers

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