top-shelf

adjective \ ˈtäp-ˈshelf \

Definition of top-shelf

1 : of the best quality
  • top-shelf products
  • Reading does have one top-shelf tourist attraction, a gorgeous pagoda that sits atop a mountain.
  • —Joe Queenan
2
[from the placement of sexually explicit magazines for sale on high shelves out of the reach of children]
British : containing pornographic material
  • top-shelf magazines
  • This year, retailers are going to come under increased pressure to clean up their acts. Of course, they're not obliged to sell top-shelf mags.
  • The Grocer

First Known Use of top-shelf

1854

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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TOP-SHELF Defined for English Language Learners

top-shelf

Definition of top-shelf for English Language Learners

  • : of the best quality


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