Meaning of “on the shelf” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"on the shelf" in British English

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on the shelf

not noticed or not used:

It's important to apply research in a practical way and not leave it on the shelf.

mainly UK informal If someone, usually a woman, is on the shelf, she is not married and is considered too old for anyone to want to marry her:

In those days, if you hadn't married by the time you were 30, you were definitely on the shelf.

(Definition of “on the shelf” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"on the shelf" in American English

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on the shelf

delayed:

Plans to start a free film series have been put on the shelf.

(Definition of “on the shelf” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)