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English definition of “shell”

shell

noun uk   /ʃel/ us  

shell noun (COVERING)

B2 [C or U] the hard outer covering of something, especially nuts, eggs, and some animals: Brazil nuts have very hard shells. A piece of shell fell into the cake mixture. the shell of a snail/crab/tortoise a shell necklace (= a piece of jewellery made out of the shells of small sea creatures) [C] the basic outer structure of a building or vehicle, especially when the parts inside have been destroyed or taken or have not yet been made: the shell of a burned-out farmhouse

shell noun (EXPLOSIVE)

[C] a container, usually with a pointed end, that is filled with explosives and shot from a large gun: Artillery and mortar shells were landing in the outskirts of the city.

shell noun (BOAT)

[C] a type of boat used for racing, driven by people using oars (= poles with flat ends)

shell noun (COMPANY)

a company that is used to hide illegal activities: The shell advertised bonds for sale to investors, but this offering was essentially a fraud because no bonds ever existed.

shell

verb [T] uk   /ʃel/ us  

shell verb [T] (COVERING)

to remove peas, nuts, etc. from their shells or their natural covering

shell verb [T] (EXPLOSIVE)

to fire shells at something: They were under orders to shell the hospital and the town hall.
shelling
noun [U] uk   /ˈʃel.ɪŋ/ us  
Shelling of enemy lines continued all day.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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