shoe·​box | \ ˈshü-ˌbäks How to pronounce shoebox (audio) \
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 nouna shoebox apartmentSince 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shoebox

Time Traveler for shoebox

Time Traveler

The first known use of shoebox was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shoebox

Cite this Entry

“Shoebox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shoebox


How to pronounce shoebox (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shoebox

: a box that shoes are sold in
: a very small home, apartment, room, etc.

Comments on shoebox

What made you want to look up shoebox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!