shell Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “shell” in the English Dictionary

"shell" in American English

See all translations


 us   /ʃel/

shell noun (COVERING)

[C/U] the hard ​outercovering of ​nuts, ​eggs, a few ​vegetables, and some ​animals: [C] Turtles, ​snails, and ​crabs all have shells to ​protect them.

shell noun (EXPLOSIVE)

[C] a ​tubefilled with explosives that is ​fired from a ​largegun

shellverb [T]

 us   /ʃel/

shell verb [T] (FIRE EXPLOSIVE)

to ​fire shells at something: Military ​forcesbegan shelling ​areasnorth of the ​city.

shell verb [T] (REMOVE COVERING)

to ​remove the hard ​outercovering of ​nuts and other ​foods: He ​sits in ​front of the TV, shelling ​peanuts.
Phrasal verbs


 us   /ʃil, ʃɪl/
contraction of she will or she shall: She’ll be there ​tomorrow, I’m ​sure.
(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shell" in Business English

See all translations

shellnoun [C]

uk   us   /ʃel/ (also shell company, also shell corporation) FINANCE, LAW
a ​company that has been ​created to hide ​illegalactivities: The shell ​advertisedbonds for ​sale to ​investors, but this ​offering was essentially a ​fraud because no ​bonds ever existed. She played a vital role in the ​briberyscheme by ​creating a shell ​company to receive a ​flow of ​illicitpayments.
a ​company that has been ​officiallycreated so that it can be ​sold to someone who does not want to have to ​create the ​company themselves: Most ​holdingcompany reorganizations involve a ​merger between the pre-existing ​company and a shell ​company.
a ​company that was ​active in the past, but that now does little or no ​business, that someone ​buys so they do not have to ​create a new ​company: Maypole was ​created out of a shell ​company called Octagon.

shelladjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ʃel/ FINANCE, LAW
used to describe an ​organization that has been ​created to hide ​illegalactivities: The ​bill would prevent US ​banks from ​openingaccounts for ​foreign shell ​banks.
(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shell?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“shell” in Business English

Word of the Day


peaceful, quiet, and without worry

Word of the Day

Tree huggers and climate change deniers
Tree huggers and climate change deniers
by Colin McIntosh,
October 08, 2015
The climate debate is one that has predictably generated a large amount of new vocabulary, some of it originally specialized scientific terminology that has been taken up by the media and is now common currency. Some of these terms are new additions to the Cambridge English Dictionary. The two opposing sides in

Read More 

climate justice noun
climate justice noun
October 12, 2015
the holding to account of those responsible for climate change and reparation for those most affected by it I just finished reading the pope’s message to the world on climate justice.I feel energized and have joined a group of people at my church, St. Joseph University Parish, who feel the same.

Read More