shelf Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “shelf” in the English Dictionary

"shelf" in British English

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shelfnoun [C]

uk   us   /ʃelf/ (plural shelves)
A2 a ​long, ​flatboardfixed horizontally, usually against a ​wall or inside a ​cupboard so that ​objects can be ​stored on it: a ​glass shelf on the ​top/​bottom shelf One ​wall had shelves from ​floor to ​ceiling, ​crammed with ​books.
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specialized geology a ​flatarea of ​rockunderwater or on a cliffoff the shelf If a ​product can be ​bought off the shelf, it does not need to be ​specially made or ​asked for: It's often ​cheaper if you buywallpaper off the shelf, ​rather than having to ​order it. off-the-shelf ​goods/​clothesremove sth from your shelves When a ​shopremoves something from ​its shelves, that ​productstops being ​available for ​sale there.
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(Definition of shelf from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shelf" in American English

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shelfnoun [C]

 us   /ʃelf/ (plural shelves  /ʃelvz/ )
a ​long, ​flatboardhung on a ​wall or ​supported by a ​frame or ​cabinet, used to ​holdobjects: Her shelves are ​filled with ​books and ​photographs.
(Definition of shelf from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shelf" in Business English

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shelfnoun [C]

uk     us   /ʃelf/ /ʃelvz/ (plural shelves)
a ​longflatboardfixed horizontally, for ​example against a ​wall or inside a cupboard, on which ​objects are ​stored or shown for ​sale: In another ​room, stacked on every ​available shelf are four to five hundred large ​storageboxes. Supermarket shelves are ​filled with ​cheap, ​mass-producedfood that is ​packed with calories. fill/refill the shelves stock/restock the shelves The ​manufacturer has ​askedretailers to remove the ​product from the shelves.
off the shelf COMMERCE, MARKETING if a ​product can be ​bought off the shelf, it does not need to be specially made or ​requested: It's often ​cheaper if you buywallpaper off the shelf, rather than having to ​order it. The ​electroniccomponents needed to make the sensors were easily ​available off the shelf.
(Definition of shelf from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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