- 1Place or arrange (items, especially books) on a shelf: we had catalogued and shelved all the books shipped in that dayMore example sentences
- I have a vague memory of the books being shelved under ‘C’ in the library when I were a lass.
- One of the elderly librarians, who was shelving books nearby, scowled at us.
- I have shelved the book once more in anger and it will remain until the next time I forget the cold harsh reality of cook books and their evil ways.
- 2Decide not to proceed with (a project or plan), either temporarily or permanently: plans to reopen the school have been shelvedMore example sentences
put to one side, lay aside, pigeonhole, stay, stand over, keep in abeyance, suspend, mothball; postpone, put off, delay, defer, put back, hold over/off, carry over, reschedule, do later, adjourn; put off the evil day/hour; abandon, drop, abolish, withdraw, throw out, do away with, give up, take away, stop, put an end to, cancel, eliminate, cut, jettison; North American put over, table, lay on the table, take a rain check on; North American Law continue• informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage, axe, ditch, dump, junk, chuck in
- The council had decided to temporarily shelve the proposal to standardise the sales illustrations of life insurers.
- The plan was temporarily shelved due to capital starvation and a shortage of technology, as well as a lack of talent to carry out the project.
- The water authority has temporarily shelved the plans because of local hostility.
- 3Fit with shelves: one whole long wall was shelvedMore example sentences
- The walls were shelved all the way down, with the exception of the bathroom door.
- More example sentences
- But the most important job lesson came from observing what we shelvers called the ‘lifers’: the full-time, professional librarians, and the amazing bitterness some of them exhibited.
- But having once been hired as a shelver and fired for incompetence a few hours later, I can attest that library work is larger than it appears in the side mirror.
- And several times the shelvers came up to me and smiled and thanked me.
late 16th century (in the sense 'project like a shelf' (Shakespearean usage)): from shelves, plural of shelf1.
verb[no object, with adverbial]
- (Of ground) slope downwards in a specified manner or direction: the ground shelved gently down to the waterMore example sentences
- From where I stood, the beach shelved steeply into a channel, perhaps chest deep and a long fly cast in width to the edge of the coral, where it rose to no more than my thigh.
- Under water, the shingle beach shelves down to rows of small rocks and kelp beneath the low-water mark.
- White sands shelve steeply down into clear blue-green water.
late Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from shelf1.