What does SHELL mean?

Definitions for SHELL

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word SHELL.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shell(noun)

    ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun

  2. shell(noun)

    the material that forms the hard outer covering of many animals

  3. carapace, shell, cuticle, shield(noun)

    hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles

  4. shell(noun)

    the hard usually fibrous outer layer of some fruits especially nuts

  5. shell, eggshell(noun)

    the exterior covering of a bird's egg

  6. shell(noun)

    a rigid covering that envelops an object

    "the satellite is covered with a smooth shell of ice"

  7. shell, racing shell(noun)

    a very light narrow racing boat

  8. shell, case, casing(noun)

    the housing or outer covering of something

    "the clock has a walnut case"

  9. plate, scale, shell(noun)

    a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)

  10. shell(verb)

    the hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc or a brachiopod

  11. blast, shell(verb)

    use explosives on

    "The enemy has been shelling us all day"

  12. blast, shell(verb)

    create by using explosives

    "blast a passage through the mountain"

  13. shell(verb)

    fall out of the pod or husk

    "The corn shelled"

  14. shell(verb)

    hit the pitches of hard and regularly

    "He shelled the pitcher for eight runs in the first inning"

  15. shell(verb)

    look for and collect shells by the seashore

  16. beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish(verb)

    come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

    "Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship"; "We beat the competition"; "Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game"

  17. shell(verb)

    remove from its shell or outer covering

    "shell the legumes"; "shell mussels"

  18. husk, shell(verb)

    remove the husks from

    "husk corn"


  1. shell(Contraction)

    Contraction of she will or she shall.

  2. shell(Noun)

    The calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates.

  3. shell(Noun)

    The hard calcareous covering of a bird egg.

  4. shell(Noun)

    The exoskeleton or wing covers of certain insects.

  5. shell(Noun)

    The covering, or outside part, of a nut.

    The black walnut and the hickory nut, both of the same Genus as the pecan, have much thicker and harder shells than the pecan.

  6. shell(Noun)

    A pod containing the seeds of certain plants, such as the legume Phaseolus vulgaris.

  7. shell(Noun)

    Husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is sometimes used as a substitute or adulterant for cocoa and its products such as chocolate.

  8. shell(Noun)

    The conjoined scutes that comprise the "shell" (carapace) of a tortoise or turtle.

  9. shell(Noun)

    The overlapping hard plates comprising the armor covering the armadillo's body.

  10. shell(Noun)

    The accreted mineral formed around a hollow geode.

  11. shell(Verb)

    To remove the outer covering or shell of something. See sheller.

  12. shell(Verb)

    To bombard, to fire projectiles at.

  13. shell(Verb)

    To disburse or give up money, to pay. (Often used with out).

  14. shell(Noun)

    The casing of a self-contained single-unit artillery projectile.

  15. shell(Noun)

    A hollow usually spherical or cylindrical projectile fired from a seige mortar or a smoothbore cannon. It contains an explosive substance designed to be ignited by a fuse or by percussion at the target site so that it will burst and scattered at high velocity its contents and fragments. Formerly called a bomb.

  16. shell(Noun)

    The cartridge of a breechloading firearm; a load; a bullet; a round.

  17. shell(Noun)

    Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in, as the shell of a house.

  18. shell(Noun)

    A garment, usually worn by women, such as a shirt, blouse, or top, with short sleeves or no sleeves, that often fastens in the rear.

  19. shell(Noun)

    A coarse or flimsy coffin; a thin interior coffin enclosed within a more substantial one.

  20. shell(Noun)

    A string instrument, as a lyre, whose acoustical chamber is formed like a shell.

    The first lyre may have been made by drawing strings over the underside of a tortoise shell.

  21. shell(Noun)

    The body of a drum; the often wooden, often cylindrical acoustic chamber, with or without rims added for tuning and for attaching the drum head.

  22. shell(Noun)

    An engraved copper roller used in print works.

  23. shell(Noun)

    The watertight outer covering of the hull of a vessel, often made with planking or metal plating.

  24. shell(Noun)

    The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.

  25. shell(Noun)

    A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood, impermeable fabric, or water-proofed paper; a racing shell or dragon boat.

  26. shell(Noun)

    An operating system software user interface, whose primary purpose is to launch other programs and control their interactions; the user's command interpreter.

  27. shell(Noun)

    A set of atomic orbitals that have the same principal quantum number.

  28. shell(Noun)

    An emaciated person.

    He's lost so much weight from illness; he's a shell of his former self.

  29. shell(Noun)

    A psychological barrier to social interaction.

    Even after months of therapy he's still in his shell.

  30. shell(Noun)

    A legal entity that has no operations.

    A shell corporation was formed to acquire the old factory.

  31. Shell(ProperNoun)

    A diminutive of the female given name Michelle.

  32. Origin: schelle, from (Anglian) scell 'eggshell, seashell', (South) sciell, sciel, from skēlō (cf. West Frisian skyl 'peel, rind', Dutch schil 'peel, skin, rink', Low German 'shell, scale'), from (s)kel- 'to split, cleave' (cf. Irish scelec 'pebble', Latin silex 'pebble, flint', siliqua 'pod', Old Church Slavonic 'shell'). More at shale.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shell(noun)

    a hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal

  2. Shell(noun)

    the covering, or outside part, of a nut; as, a hazelnut shell

  3. Shell(noun)

    a pod

  4. Shell(noun)

    the hard covering of an egg

  5. Shell(noun)

    the hard calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates. In some mollusks, as the cuttlefishes, it is internal, or concealed by the mantle. Also, the hard covering of some vertebrates, as the armadillo, the tortoise, and the like

  6. Shell(noun)

    hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering

  7. Shell(noun)

    a hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an explosive substance, ignited with a fuse or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and its fragments scattered. See Bomb

  8. Shell(noun)

    the case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms

  9. Shell(noun)

    any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as, the shell of a house

  10. Shell(noun)

    a coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one

  11. Shell(noun)

    an instrument of music, as a lyre, -- the first lyre having been made, it is said, by drawing strings over a tortoise shell

  12. Shell(noun)

    an engraved copper roller used in print works

  13. Shell(noun)

    the husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is often used as a substitute for chocolate, cocoa, etc

  14. Shell(noun)

    the outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve

  15. Shell(noun)

    a light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood or with paper; as, a racing shell

  16. Shell(verb)

    to strip or break off the shell of; to take out of the shell, pod, etc.; as, to shell nuts or pease; to shell oysters

  17. Shell(verb)

    to separate the kernels of (an ear of Indian corn, wheat, oats, etc.) from the cob, ear, or husk

  18. Shell(verb)

    to throw shells or bombs upon or into; to bombard; as, to shell a town

  19. Shell(verb)

    to fall off, as a shell, crust, etc

  20. Shell(verb)

    to cast the shell, or exterior covering; to fall out of the pod or husk; as, nuts shell in falling

  21. Shell(verb)

    to be disengaged from the ear or husk; as, wheat or rye shells in reaping

  22. Origin: [OE. shelle, schelle, AS. scell, scyll; akin to D. shel, Icel. skel, Goth. skalja a tile, and E. skill. Cf. Scale of fishes, Shale, Skill.]


  1. Shell

    A shell is a payload-carrying projectile which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot. Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used. Originally it was called a "bombshell", but "shell" has come to be unambiguous in a military context. "Bombshell" is still used figuratively to refer to a shockingly unexpected happening or revelation. All explosive- and incendiary-filled projectiles, particularly for mortars, were originally called grenades, derived from the pomegranate, whose seeds are similar to grains of powder. Words cognate with grenade are still used for an artillery or mortar projectile in some European languages. Shells are usually large-calibre projectiles fired by artillery and combat vehicles, and warships. Shells usually have the shape of a cylinder topped by an ogive-shaped nose for good aerodynamic performance, possibly with a tapering base; but some specialized types are quite different.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shell

    shel, n. a term applied to the hard outer covering or skeleton of many animals, to the internal skeleton of some invertebrates, and to the outer covering-of the eggs of various animals: any framework: the outer ear: a testaceous mollusc: any frail structure: a frail boat: a rough kind of coffin: an instrument of music: a bomb: a hollow projectile containing a bursting charge of gunpowder or other explosive ignited at the required instant by means of either time or percussion fuses: the thin coating of copper on an electrotype: an intermediate class in some schools.—v.t. to break off the shell: to remove the shell from: to take out of the shell: to throw shells or bombs upon, to bombard.—v.i. to fall off like a shell: to cast the shell.—ns. Shellac (she-lak′, shel′ak), Shell′-lac, lac prepared in thin plates for making varnish, &c.—v.t. to coat with shellac.—ns. Shell′-back, an old sailor, a barnacle; Shell′-bark, either of two North American hickories.—adj. Shelled, having a shell, testaceous.—ns. Shell′er, one who shells or husks; Shell′fish, a popular term for many aquatic animals not fishes, esp. oysters, clams and all molluscs, and crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters; Shell′-gun, a cannon used for throwing shells, esp. horizontally: Shell′-heap, a prehistoric accumulation of shells, &c., pointing back to a race that lived on shellfish; Shell′-ice, ice no longer supported by the water beneath; Shell′-jack′et, an undress military jacket; Shell′-lime, lime procured from the shells of shellfish by burning; Shell′-lime′stone, a limestone largely consisting of shells; Shell′-marl, a white earthy deposit, resulting from the accumulation of fragments of shells; Shell′-mound, a shell-heap; Shell′-or′nament, decoration in which any shell-form is prominent.—adj. Shell′proof, proof against, or able to resist, shells or bombs.—ns. Shell′-room, a magazine on board ship where shells are stored; Shell′-sand, sand consisting in great part of fragments of shells, and often containing a small proportion of organic matter, a very useful manure for clay soils, heavy loams, and newly-reclaimed bogs; Shell′work, work composed of or adorned with shells.—adj. Shell′y, consisting of a shell: testaceous.—Shell out, (slang), to hand over, as money. [A.S. scell, scyl; Dut. schel, Ice. skel.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. shell

    [orig. Multics techspeak, widely propagated via Unix] 1. [techspeak] The command interpreter used to pass commands to an operating system; so called because it is the part of the operating system that interfaces with the outside world. 2. More generally, any interface program that mediates access to a special resource or server for convenience, efficiency, or security reasons; for this meaning, the usage is usually a shell around whatever. This sort of program is also called a wrapper. 3. A skeleton program, created by hand or by another program (like, say, a parser generator), which provides the necessary incantations to set up some task and the control flow to drive it (the term driver is sometimes used synonymously). The user is meant to fill in whatever code is needed to get real work done. This usage is common in the AI and Microsoft Windows worlds, and confuses Unix hackers.Historical note: Apparently, the original Multics shell (sense 1) was so called because it was a shell (sense 3); it ran user programs not by starting up separate processes, but by dynamically linking the programs into its own code, calling them as subroutines, and then dynamically de-linking them on return. The VMS command interpreter still does something very like this.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shell

    In artillery, a hollow iron shot containing explosive materials, whether spherical, elongated, eccentric, &c., and destined to burst at the required instant by the action of its fuse (which see).--Common shells are filled with powder only, those fired from mortars being spherical, and having a thickness of about one-sixth of their diameter. (See also SEGMENT-SHELL and SHRAPNEL SHELL.) Also, the hard calcareous external covering of the mollusca, crustacea, and echinoderms.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. shell

    To throw shells or bombs upon; to bombard; as, to shell a town.

Suggested Resources

  1. shell

    Song lyrics by shell -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by shell on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'SHELL' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4639

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'SHELL' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4457

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'SHELL' in Nouns Frequency: #1403

How to pronounce SHELL?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say SHELL in sign language?

  1. shell


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of SHELL in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of SHELL in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of SHELL in a Sentence

  1. Fadel Gheit:

    For Shell to back down at this point, it's a defeat, it's disgraceful, it's costly.

  2. Lang Banks:

    Despite being responsible for the worst North Sea spill in a decade, the level of the fine is literally a drop in the ocean when compared to the billions earned by Shell annually.

  3. Salarno Ashford:

    It's always been a fault in our system that defendants were able to play a shell game and delay things.

  4. Jammie Nichols:

    I've really come out of my shell, today I filled out my first application for housing.

  5. Royal Dutch Shell:

    The evaluation concluded that for Shell, the development of the project does not fit with the company's strategy, particularly in the economic climate prevailing in the energy industry.

Images & Illustrations of SHELL


Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for SHELL

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • صدفةArabic
  • conquilla, consola, clovella, terminal, closca, conxa, bucCatalan, Valencian
  • patrona, ulita, kostra, skořápka, krovka, válec, slupka, stín, šrapnel, krunýř, rezonátor, hlubotiskový, opláštění, lusk, nábojniceCzech
  • shellDanish
  • Eierschale, Schale, Granate, Hülle, Hülse, ShellGerman
  • όστρακο, κέλυφος, κάψα, τύμπανο, κάλυκας, οβίδα, τερματικόGreek
  • ŝelo, konko, karapacoEsperanto
  • concha, cáscara, casquete, terminal, vaina, caparazón, descascarar, desvainar, bombardearSpanish
  • koda, koor, kaun, granaat, kilp, munakoor, karp, kestEstonian
  • صدف, لاک, پوکه, پوستهPersian
  • ammus, kilpi, runko, laidoitus, kuori, kranaatti, komentorivi, varjo, palko, panssari, hylsy, pesä, komentotulkki, kuoriyhtiö, munankuori, törsätä, kuoriutua, pommittaa, kuoriaFinnish
  • skelFaroese
  • coquillage, coquille, cosse, obus, interpréteur de commandes, carapace, douille, coque, carcasse, couche, squelette, décortiquerFrench
  • sliogánIrish
  • cochallScottish Gaelic
  • bleaystManx
  • खोलHindi
  • héj, kagyló, tojáshéj, teknőHungarian
  • պատյան, կճեպ, արկ, խեցիArmenian
  • kulit, tempurung, kerang, cangkang, selongsong, sisik, sayap kerasIndonesian
  • skelIcelandic
  • camicetta, guscio, carapace, placca, mallo, placca ossea, drusa, bossolo, blusa, top, conchiglia, esoscheletro, baccello, geode, granata, ogiva, bombardare, sborsare, sgranare, sgusciareItalian
  • 莢, 殻, 甲羅, 空洞, シェル, 胴, 船体, 卵殻, 籾, 籾殻, 砲弾, 薬莢, 貝殻, 鞘翅, 剥く, 砲撃, 支払うJapanese
  • ნიჟარა, ნაჭუჭიGeorgian
  • SchuelLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • pāpapa, anga, matā, kota, kōwhā, miriMāori
  • petalaMalay
  • schaal, eierschaal, shell, omhulsel, obus, lier, gebruikersomgeving, schulp, schelp, pellen, kraken, doppen, bombarderen, schillenDutch
  • atsʼaʼNavajo, Navaho
  • powłoka, powłoka walencyjnaPolish
  • casca, vagem, concha, cartuchoPortuguese
  • hephq'ayQuechua
  • cochilie, scoică, carapaceRomanian
  • скорлупа, панцирь, боб, стручок, снаряд, раковина, гильза, оболочка, ракушкаRussian
  • skálžuNorthern Sami
  • шко̑љка, škȏljkaSerbo-Croatian
  • oklep, strok, školjka, lupina, luščinaSlovene
  • skal, shell, kommandotolk, äggskal, skalbolag, fjäll, plåt, tolk, bomba, beskjuta, skala, bombardera, ömsaSwedish
  • กระดองThai
  • kabukTurkish
  • vỏVietnamese
  • 貝殼Chinese

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"SHELL." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Apr. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/SHELL>.

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