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)