Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
What is the pronunciation of shell?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shell” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More