1Place or arrange (items, especially books) on a shelf.
- 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 shelved
More example sentences
- 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.
postpone, put off, delay, defer, put back, reschedule, hold over/off, put to one side, suspend, stay, keep in abeyance, mothball;
abandon, drop, give up, stop, cancel, jettison, ax, put over, table, take a rain check on
informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage, ditch, dump, junk
late 16th century (in the sense 'project like a shelf' (Shakespearean usage)): from shelves, plural of shelf1.
- 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.
(Of ground) slope downward in a specified manner or direction: the ground shelved gently down to the water
More 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.