noun (plural shelves) Etymology: Middle English, probably from Old English scylfe; akin to Old Norse hlīthskjalf Odin's seat Date: 14th century 1. a. a thin flat usually long and narrow piece of material (as wood) fastened horizontally (as on a wall) at a distance from the floor to hold objects b. one of several similar pieces in a closet, bookcase, or similar structure c. the contents of a shelf <
the author of a shelf of best sellers
2. something resembling a shelf in form or position: as a. a sandbank or ledge of rocks usually partially submerged b. a flat projecting layer of rock c. the submerged gradually sloping border of a continent or island ; continental shelfshelfful nounshelflike adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • shelf — W3S3 [ʃelf] n plural shelves [ʃelvz] [Date: 1300 1400; : Middle Low German; Origin: schelf] 1.) a long flat narrow board attached to a wall or in a frame or cupboard, used for putting things on top/bottom/next etc shelf ▪ Put it back on the top… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • shelf — [ ʃelf ] (plural shelves [ ʃelvz ] ) noun count ** 1. ) a flat piece of wood, plastic, or glass that is attached to the wall or is part of a piece of furniture, used for putting things on: He took a book from the shelf. top/bottom shelf: The… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shelf — [shelf] n. pl. shelves [ME, prob. < MLowG schelf, akin to OE scylf, shelf, ledge < IE * skelp < base * (s)kel , to cut > HALF] 1. a thin, flat length of wood or other material fixed horizontally at right angles to a wall and used for… …   English World dictionary

  • shelf — (n.) late 14c., from M.L.G. schelf shelf, set of shelves, or from O.E. cognate scylfe shelf, ledge, floor, and scylf peak, pinnacle, from P.Gmc. *skelf , *skalf split, possibly from the notion of a split piece of wood (Cf. O.N. skjölf bench ),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • shelf — ► NOUN (pl. shelves) 1) a flat length of wood or other rigid material attached to a wall or forming part of a piece of furniture, providing a surface for storage or display. 2) a ledge of rock or protruding strip of land. ● off the shelf Cf. ↑off …   English terms dictionary

  • Shelf — Shelf, n.; pl. {Shelves}. [OE. shelfe, schelfe, AS. scylfe; akin to G. schelfe, Icel. skj[=a]lf. In senses 2 & 3, perhaps a different word (cf. {Shelve}, v. i.).] 1. (Arch.) A flat tablet or ledge of any material set horizontally at a distance… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shelf — has the plural form shelves, and the corresponding verb is shelve. The compound form shelf ful should be written with a hyphen for clarity, and its plural is shelf fuls …   Modern English usage

  • shelf — shelf; shelf·ful; …   English syllables

  • Shelf — (spr. schelf), Stadt im Westbezirk von Yorkshire (England), 5 km nordöstlich von Halifax, mit Kammgarn und Damastweberei, chemischen Fabriken und (1901) 2500 Einw. In der Umgegend Kohlen und Eisengruben und Steinbrüche …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • shelf — [n] jutting, flat area or piece bank, bracket, console, counter, cupboard, ledge, mantelpiece, mantle, rack, reef, ridge, rock, shallow, shoal; concepts 445,509,513 …   New thesaurus

  • Shelf — A shelf is a detail of furniture for storing items.It may also refer to:* Shelf (computing), a user interface feature in the NeXTSTEP operating system * Shelf, West Yorkshire, a village in England * Continental shelf, the extended perimeter of a… …   Wikipedia

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