Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shelf”

See all translations

shelf

noun [C] uk   /ʃelf/ ( plural shelves) us  
A2 a long, flat board fixed horizontally, usually against a wall or inside a cupboard so that objects can be stored on it: a glass shelf on the top/bottom shelf One wall had shelves from floor to ceiling, crammed with books.
See also
specialized geology a flat area of rock underwater or on a cliffoff the shelf If a product can be bought off the shelf, it does not need to be specially made or asked for: It's often cheaper if you buy wallpaper off the shelf, rather than having to order it. off-the-shelf goods/clothesremove sth from your shelves When a shop removes something from its shelves, that product stops being available for sale there.
More examples
(Definition of shelf from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shelf?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shelf” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More