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English definition of “shelf life”

shelf life

noun [C usually singular] uk   (plural shelf lives) us  
the length of time that a product, especially food, can be kept in a shop before it becomes too old to be sold or used: Fresh fruit has a very short shelf life. the length of time that something remains useful, popular, or successful: These days many marriages have a fairly short shelf life (= don't last very long).
(Definition of shelf life from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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