What does shelf mean?

Definitions for shelf

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shelf(noun)

    a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects

  2. ledge, shelf(noun)

    a projecting ridge on a mountain or submerged under water


  1. shelf(Noun)

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

  2. shelf(Noun)

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

  3. shelf(Noun)

    A projecting ledge that resembles such an object.

  4. shelf(Noun)

    A reef, shoal or sandbar.

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shelf(verb)

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

  2. Shelf(verb)

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

  3. Shelf(verb)

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

  4. Shelf(verb)

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

  5. Origin: [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 rock surface shaped like a shelf, especially on a mountain or underwater.

    Divers find a variety of shelves underwater and take beautiful photos and videos of them for others to have the joy of seeing.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 21, 2016  
  2. shelf

    A type of structure and product created and designed in various colors, materials, shapes, sizes and styles used to place or put something on.

    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  

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?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say shelf in sign language?

  1. shelf


  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. Barbara Kingsolver, "Life Without Go-Go Boots" (personal essay):

    High fashion has the shelf life of potato salad.

  2. Robert Bloch:

    I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf.

  3. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox:

    (It) doesn’t belong on the shelf, it belongs in the shredder.

  4. Yaky Yanay:

    It will be very easy to use, off-the-shelf and readily available.

  5. Frank Zappa:

    There is more stupidity then hydrogen in the universe and it has a longer shelf life.

Images & Illustrations of shelf

  1. shelfshelfshelfshelfshelf

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shelf

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for shelf »


Find a translation for the shelf definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss these shelf definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"shelf." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shelf>.

Are we missing a good definition for shelf? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for shelf:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.