shaft Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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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 golf club
a rod forming part of a machine such as an engine, that turns in order to pass power 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 long structure like a stem in the body
shaft of light
a beam of light: A shaft of (sun)light came through the open door.
  • shaft noun [C] (REMARK)

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

the shaft US informal
unfair treatment: 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 film rights 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 long pole or rod: Energy from the wheels turns the shafts and produces electricity. The feathers at the end of the arrow’s shaft help it travel in a straight line. Sliced beef was curled around a scallion shaft, then fried.
[C] A shaft of light is a single beam.
  • shaft noun (PASSAGE)

[C] a long vertical or sloping passage through a building or through the ground: a mine shaft an elevator shaft The window looks out on an air shaft.
  • shaft noun (UNFAIR TREATMENT)

[U] slang bad or unfair treatment: Corporations pay almost nothing while taxpayers get the shaft.
(Definition of shaft from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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