Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: shell|work
Pronunciation: /ˈʃɛlwəːk

Definition of shellwork in English:


[mass noun]
Ornamentation consisting of shells cemented on to a surface.
Example sentences
  • The armchair's densely carved scallops and shellwork, rosebuds, floral bouquets, and cartouche-shaped back are loosely based on the rococo style as reinterpreted in French pattern books of the mid-nineteenth century.
  • Considering how popular shellwork was in Britain, it is not surprising that this form of ornamentation appealed to some well-to-do colonial Americans.
  • However the fact that these two shadow-box grottoes were made by mature women suggests that shellwork was an amusing pastime for women of education and wealth.

Definition of shellwork in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day apathetic
Pronunciation: apəˈθɛtɪk
showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern