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English definition of “shelf life”

shelf life

noun [C]
 
 
the length of time that a product, especially food and medicine, can be kept before it becomes too old to be sold or used: a short/long shelf life Vacuum packing gives the fish a shelf life of a couple of weeks. The product would be expensive to make and have a limited shelf life.
the length of time that something remains useful, popular, successful, etc.: Today's technology can have a brief shelf life. Self-help books have a longer shelf life than other bestsellers.
(Definition of shelf life from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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