noun (plural shelves /SHelvz/)
- 1A flat length of wood or rigid material, attached to a wall or forming part of a piece of furniture, that provides a surface for the storage or display of objects.More example sentences
- The pieces were displayed on shelves, propped against the wall, emphasizing their three-dimensionality.
- The painters, who had promised me two days notice to remove everything from walls, shelves and large pieces of furniture, instead gave me a few hours.
- Free-standing shelves provide excellent storage and can be taken with you when you move.
- 1.1A ledge of rock or protruding strip of land.More example sentences
- There were, broadly speaking, three tracts of relevant land: there is the rock shelf, which was tidal…
- A dusty pile of sheet rock tumbled from one of the high, unsteady shelves and landed beside Barbara.
- I pull the rope bag out and drop it on the ledge in front of my shins, padding the rock shelf so I can lean into it.
- 1.2A submarine bank, or a part of the continental shelf.More example sentences
- This problem with the sediment trap technique is probably restricted to the continental slope and shelf and will not occur over abyssal depths.
- Recruitment patterns of these species along the shelf were then used to infer water-mass distributions along the shelf.
- Zebra sharks are primarily bottom dwellers that live in warm shallow inland waters, of continental and island shelves.
off the shelf
- Not designed or made to order but taken from existing stock or supplies: off-the-shelf software packagesMore example sentences
- This is the software you buy shrink-wrapped off the shelf or download from the Internet onto your computer.
- You can buy software specific to an industry and specific to one need, off the shelf, without having to buy a whole package.
- So in all probability, they took the stadium plans off the shelf.
on the shelf
- (Of people or things) no longer useful or desirable: an injury that has kept him on the shelfMore example sentences
- And it is the self-centred ones who tend to get left on the shelf and so are the main frequenters of singles venues.
- Until the court case settled, this IPO is on the shelf, possibly forever.
- Keep in mind that plans are not something to write and put on the shelf.
- More example sentences
- There was not a shelfful of books on, say, how to give a talk in public, as there is now; there was usually none.
- This enormous book of 552 pages, closely printed, is almost a shelfful of books collected in one volume.
- These things tend to discourage purchase - who wants to have a shelfful of dead ideas?
- More example sentences
- Running a trot line seems a fairly sane way to go about snagging a big fish, but in more shallow runs of the river farther downstream where the limestone has eroded under the bank to form shelf-like caves some guys take the sport a step farther.
- The nose contains shelf-like structures called turbinates, which help trap particles entering the nasal passages.
- Podial basins are closed cup-like or shelf-like depressions shared by sequential ambulacrals or adjacent ambulacrals and adambulacrals.
Middle English: from Middle Low German schelf; related to Old English scylfe 'partition', scylf 'crag'.
Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun (plural shelfs)
verb[with object] Back to top
1930s (as a noun): probably from the phrase on the shelf 'out of the way'.