shell Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “shell” in the English Dictionary

"shell" in British English

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shellnoun

uk   /ʃel/ us   /ʃel/
  • shell noun (COVERING)

B2 [C or U] the hard outer covering of something, especially nuts, eggs, and some animals: Brazil nuts have very hard shells. A piece of shell fell into the cake mixture. the shell of a snail/crab/tortoise a shell necklace (= a piece of jewellery made out of the shells of small sea creatures)
[C] the basic outer structure of a building or vehicle, especially when the parts inside have been destroyed or taken or have not yet been made: the shell of a burned-out farmhouse

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  • shell noun (EXPLOSIVE)

[C] a container, usually with a pointed end, that is filled with explosives and shot from a large gun: Artillery and mortar shells were landing in the outskirts of the city.
  • shell noun (BOAT)

[C] a type of boat used for racing, driven by people using oars (= poles with flat ends)
  • shell noun (COMPANY)

a company that is used to hide illegal activities: The shell advertised bonds for sale to investors, but this offering was essentially a fraud because no bonds ever existed.

shellverb [T]

uk   /ʃel/ us   /ʃel/
  • shell verb [T] (COVERING)

to remove peas, nuts, etc. from their shells or their natural covering
  • shell verb [T] (EXPLOSIVE)

to fire shells at something: They were under orders to shell the hospital and the town hall.
shelling
noun [U] uk   /ˈʃel.ɪŋ/ us   /ˈʃel.ɪŋ/
Shelling of enemy lines continued all day.
Phrasal verbs

she'll

uk   /ʃil/ /ʃiːl/ us   /ʃil/ /ʃiːl/
short form of she will: She'll be here later.

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(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shell" in American English

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shellnoun

us   /ʃel/
  • shell noun (COVERING)

[C/U] the hard outer covering 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 tube filled with explosives that is fired from a large gun

shellverb [T]

us   /ʃel/
  • shell verb [T] (FIRE EXPLOSIVE)

to fire shells at something: Military forces began shelling areas north of the city.
  • shell verb [T] (REMOVE COVERING)

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

she’ll

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

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shellnoun [C]

uk   /ʃel/ us   also shell company, also shell corporation FINANCE, LAW
a company that has been created to hide illegal activities: The shell advertised bonds for sale to investors, but this offering was essentially a fraud because no bonds ever existed. She played a vital role in the bribery scheme by creating a shell company to receive a flow of illicit payments.
a company that has been officially created so that it can be sold to someone who does not want to have to create the company themselves: Most holding company 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   /ʃel/ us   FINANCE, LAW
used to describe an organization that has been created to hide illegal activities: The bill would prevent US banks from opening accounts for foreign shell banks.
(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shell” in Business English

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