shoebox

noun
variants: or less commonly shoe box

Definition of shoebox

1 : a box that shoes are sold in
  • a shoebox full of old photographs
2 : a small space and especially a small living space
  • The loft, almost an hour from her house by tube, is a shoebox with 18-foot ceilings, white and blue, with odds and ends of mismatched furniture …
  • —Michael Kimmelman
often used before another noun
  • a shoebox apartment
  • Since commercial real estate was cheaper, art galleries and Off Off Off Broadway theaters could spring up in shoebox storefronts.
  • —James Wolcott

First Known Use of shoebox

1838

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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