shaft Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “shaft” in the English Dictionary

"shaft" in British English

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shaftnoun [C]

uk   /ʃɑːft/  us   /ʃæft/
  • shaft noun [C] (LONG OBJECT)

a ​pole or ​rod that ​forms the ​handle of a ​tool or ​weapon: the shaft of a ​golfclub a ​rodformingpart of a ​machine such as an ​engine, that ​turns in ​order to ​passpower on to the ​machine: the ​drive shaft of a ​car the ​propeller shaft of an ​aircraft
See also
specialized medical the ​part of the ​hair above the ​scalp specialized medical a ​longstructure like a ​stem in the ​bodyshaft of light a ​beam of ​light: A shaft of (sun)light came through the ​opendoor.
  • shaft noun [C] (REMARK)

literary a ​cleverremark, ​especially one that is ​intended as an ​attack on someone or something: John came out with an ​unexpected shaft ofwit/​wisdom.
  • shaft noun [C] (TREATMENT)

the shaft US informal unfairtreatment: His ​boss gave him the shaft by ​firing him just before he would have ​gotten a ​bonus.

shaftverb [T]

uk   /ʃɑːft/  us   /ʃæft/ informal
to ​cheat or ​trick someone, or to ​treat someone ​unfairly: She was shafted by her ​agent over the ​filmrights to her ​book.
(Definition of shaft from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shaft" in American English

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shaftnoun

 us   /ʃæft/
  • shaft noun (POLE)

[C] a ​longpole or ​rod: Energy from the ​wheelsturns the shafts and ​produceselectricity. The ​feathers at the end of the arrow’s shaft ​help it ​travel in a ​straightline. Sliced ​beef was ​curled around a ​scallion shaft, then ​fried. [C] A shaft of ​light is a ​singlebeam.
  • shaft noun (PASSAGE)

[C] a ​longvertical or ​slopingpassage through a ​building or through the ​ground: a mine shaft an ​elevator shaft The ​windowlooks out on an ​air shaft.
  • shaft noun (UNFAIR TREATMENT)

[U] slang bad or ​unfairtreatment: Corporations ​payalmost nothing while ​taxpayers get the shaft.
(Definition of shaft from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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