What does shelf mean?

Definitions for shelf

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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. Hayley Garbutt:

    I get all of my family to put in before I go and do the shop, this year I spent $ 388 online at Morrisons, doing the big shop and making sure I had a variety of things in. ( Caters News Agency) Hayley Garbutt, Hayley Garbutt, charges about $ 45-a-head for a seat at her Christmas dinner table, the Sun reports. Her guests include her three children, their partners and her four grandchildren. She also invites some friends as well. I get all of my family to put in before I go and do the shop, she told the Sun. This year I spent $ 388 online at Morrisons, doing the big shop and making sure I had a variety of things in. But its not that Im being tight - it means I get to spend more in other aspects then too like presents - this year the tree has so many presents stacked around it, that you cant even see it. WOMAN SHARES HUSBANDS ELF ON THE SHELF KITCHEN-WRAPPING PRANK : 2 HOURS LATER AND A DIVORCE ON THE CARDS So, while her family has to pay to eat dinner, Hayley Garbutt makes sure that they get their moneys worth.

  2. Aubrey Alvarez:

    Anything on those racks that is out-of-date will automatically be taken off the shelf.

  3. Brian Gannon:

    I'm concerned. This is different than most of the types of pandemics we've had in the past or the other types of disasters that I've been involved with because it has to do with people social distancing themselves, blood has a short shelf life, so it's not like we can stockpile it.

  4. Diane Black:

    It’s available. It’s available on the shelf when you walk in a grocery store, yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there.

  5. Mark Belford:

    Fashion is not something you can solve with math, fashion – you either get it or you don’t, and it either sells or it sits on the shelf.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shelf

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    pose a threat to; present a danger to
    • A. refine
    • B. attend
    • C. jeopardize
    • D. adventure

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