shell - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shell”

See all translations

shell

noun uk   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
More examples

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.

shell

verb [T] uk   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   us   /ˈʃel.ɪŋ/
Shelling of enemy lines continued all day.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of shell from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shell?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shell” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

paradox

a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More