I. noun (plural shafts) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceaft; akin to Old High German scaft shaft, Latin scapus shaft, stalk, Greek skēptesthai to prop oneself, lean Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) the long handle of a spear or similar weapon (2) spear, lance b. or plural shaves pole; specifically either of two long pieces of wood between which a horse is hitched to a vehicle c. (1) an arrow especially for a longbow (2) the body or stem of an arrow extending from the nock to the head 2. a sharply delineated beam of light shining through an opening 3. something suggestive of the shaft of a spear or arrow especially in long slender cylindrical form: as a. the trunk of a tree b. the cylindrical pillar between the capital and the base c. the handle of a tool or instrument (as a golf club) d. a commonly cylindrical bar used to support rotating pieces or to transmit power or motion by rotation e. the stem or central axis of a feather f. the upright member of a cross especially below the arms g. the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged ends h. a small architectural column (as at each side of a doorway) i. a column, obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument j. a vertical or inclined opening of uniform and limited cross section made for finding or mining ore, raising water, or ventilating underground workings (as in a cave) k. the part of a hair that is visible above the surface of the skin l. a vertical opening or passage through the floors of a building 4. a. a projectile thrown like a spear or shot like an arrow b. a scornful, satirical, or pithily critical remark or attack c. harsh or unfair treatment — usually used with the <
gave them the shaft
II. transitive verb Date: 1611 1. to fit with a shaft 2. to treat unfairly or harshly

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shaft — can refer to: Edwin Shaft WhiteLong narrow passages: * Edwin White * Elevator shaft * Ventilation shaft * Pitch (vertical space), a significant underground vertical space in caving terminology * Shaft mining * Shafting, illicit travelling through …   Wikipedia

  • Shaft — Shaft, n. [OE. shaft, schaft, AS. sceaft; akin to D. schacht, OHG. scaft, G. schaft, Dan. & Sw. skaft handle, haft, Icel. skapt, and probably to L. scapus, Gr. ????, ????, a staff. Probably originally, a shaven or smoothed rod. Cf. {Scape},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shaft — puede referirse a: En ficción: La novela de 1971 escrita por Ernest Tidyman y que trata sobre un detective privado negro: Shaft (1971), una película basada en la novela. Shaft (álbum), la banda sonora de la película grabada por Isaac Hayes. Theme …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shaft — [ʃæft] bezeichnet: Shaft (Buch), einen Roman von Ernest Tidyman Shaft (Film), Literaturverfilmung aus dem Jahre 1971 Shaft – Liebesgrüße aus Pistolen (1972 – Fortsetzung des Films von 1971) Shaft in Africa (1973 – Fortsetzung des Films von 1971)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • shaft — [shaft, shäft] n. [ME schaft < OE sceaft, akin to Ger schaft < IE base * (s)kap , to cut with a sharp tool > SHAVE, Gr skapos, rod, L scapus, shaft, stalk] 1. a) the long stem or body of an arrow or spear b) an arrow or spear 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • shaft — ► NOUN 1) a long, narrow part forming the handle of a tool or club, the body of a spear or arrow, or similar. 2) a ray of light or bolt of lightning. 3) a long, narrow, typically vertical hole giving access to a mine, accommodating a lift, etc.… …   English terms dictionary

  • shaft — A long smooth surfaced bar of metal with a circular (round) cross section. See armature shaft arm shaft auxilliar drive shaft axle shaft balance shaft bevel drive shaft cardan shaft clutch shaft composite propeller shaft …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • Shaft — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Shaft », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Shaft est à l origine une création littéraire… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • shaft — 01. A cable snapped, and the elevator plunged down the [shaft], killing three people who were trapped inside. 02. The hikers found an old mine [shaft] and decided to explore it. 03. The boat had a bunch of weeds caught around the propeller… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • shaft — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ deep ▪ vertical ▪ narrow ▪ elevator (AmE), lift (BrE) ▪ She almost fell down an elevator shaft …   Collocations dictionary

  • shaft — {{11}}shaft (n.1) O.E. sceaft long, slender rod of a staff or spear, from P.Gmc. *skaftaz (Cf. O.N. skapt, O.S. skaft, O.H.G. scaft, Ger. schaft, Du. schacht, not found in Gothic), which some connect with a Germanic passive pp. of PIE root *… …   Etymology dictionary

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