What does shelf mean?

Definitions for shelf

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shelf.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shelfnoun

    a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects

  2. ledge, shelfnoun

    a projecting ridge on a mountain or submerged under water


  1. shelfnoun

    A flat, rigid, rectangular structure, fixed at right angles to a wall, and used to support, store or display objects.

  2. shelfnoun

    The capacity of such an object; as, a shelf of videos.

  3. shelfnoun

    A projecting ledge that resembles such an object.

  4. shelfnoun

    A reef, shoal or sandbar.

  5. Etymology: Probably from scylfe; distantly related to sculpt, carve and shell.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shelfnoun

    A board fixed against a supporter, so that any thing may be placed upon it.

    Etymology: scylf , Saxon; scelf, Dutch.

    About his shelves
    A beggarly account of empty boxes. William Shakespeare.

    Bind fast, or from their shelves
    Your books will come and right themselves. Jonathan Swift.

    You have the pleasure of the prospect whenever you take it from your shelf, and the solid cash you sold it for. Blount.

    Our transported souls shall congratulate each other their having now fully escaped the numerous rocks, shelves, and quick-sands. Boyle.

    Near the shelves of Circe’s shores they run,
    A dang’rous coast. Dryden.

    He call’d his money in;
    But the prevailing love of pelf
    Soon split him on the former shelf,
    He put it out again. Dryden.

    He seiz’d the helm, his fellows cheer’d,
    Turn’d short upon the shelfs and madly steer’d. Dryden.


  1. Shelf

    Shelf is a song by American pop rock group Jonas Brothers from their third studio album A Little Bit Longer (2008). It was written by Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas, with production helmed by Jon Fields.


  1. shelf

    A shelf is a flat, horizontal piece of material, typically made of wood, metal, or glass, that is attached to a wall, or part of a frame or furniture. It is used to hold, display, or store items such as books, decorations, kitchen supplies, or belongings.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shelfverb

    a flat tablet or ledge of any material set horizontally at a distance from the floor, to hold objects of use or ornament

  2. Shelfverb

    a sand bank in the sea, or a rock, or ledge of rocks, rendering the water shallow, and dangerous to ships

  3. Shelfverb

    a stratum lying in a very even manner; a flat, projecting layer of rock

  4. Shelfverb

    a piece of timber running the whole length of a vessel inside the timberheads

  5. Etymology: [OE. shelfe, schelfe, AS. scylfe; akin to G. schelfe, Icel. skjlf. In senses 2 & 3, perhaps a different word (cf. Shelve, v. i.).]


  1. Shelf

    Shelf is a village in West Yorkshire, England. The village is situated halfway between Bradford and Halifax. It has a population of 4,496. In the Domesday Book it is called Scelf. From 1937 to 1974, Shelf formed part of Queensbury and Shelf, an urban district in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Queensbury and Shelf consisted of Queensbury and Shelf. Queensbury and Shelf was split in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, with the Shelf part going to the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, and the rest going to the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford. Shelf is a village impacted by the Industrial Revolution and retains mill buildings along with other artefacts. Much-travelled footballer Frank Worthington was born in the village, as were Linda Barker and veteran Blue Peter presenter John Noakes. Shelf village centre has many shops and facilities such as a bakery and pharmacy. There is a local supermarket managed by the Lidl group.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shelf

    shelf, n. a board fixed on a wall, &c., for laying things on: a flat layer of rock: a ledge: a shoal: a sandbank:—pl. Shelves (shelvz).—adj. Shelf′y.—Put, Lay, on the Shelf, to put aside from duty or service. [A.S. scylfe, a plank, Ice. skjálf, a bench.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shelf

    A dangerous beach bounded by a ledge of flat rocks a-wash. In icy regions, (see TONGUE).

Editors Contribution

  1. shelf

    A type of structure and product created and designed in various colors, materials, shapes, sizes and styles.

    A shelf is practical in a room in the house and people buy for them for a wide variety of purposes

    Submitted by MaryC on July 21, 2016  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'shelf' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4436

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'shelf' in Nouns Frequency: #1518

How to pronounce shelf?

How to say shelf in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shelf in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shelf in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of shelf in a Sentence

  1. Chief Executive David Taylor:

    A few years ago we got too central and global and too slow to address market opportunities. We need more direct ownership for our regional managers all the way to the store shelf.

  2. Ralf Hungerbuehler:

    We don't see it as a threat, the difference is really the complexity and the bespoke nature of what is being offered. An exchange has a more off -the-shelf approach and cannot offer every variable a client might want.

  3. Phil Orlando:

    Our operating assumption is that it doesn’t get worse. ... They are working hard on the supply chain to get products on the shelf.

  4. Williams Grey:

    Reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get, the brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?

  5. The PepsiCo Foundation:

    When they learned some of these families don’t even have access to refrigeration at home, they created a shelf-stable menu of products.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shelf

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"shelf." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shelf>.

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