Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “on the shelf”

See all translations

on the shelf

not noticed or not used: It's important to apply research in a practical way and not leave it on the shelf. mainly UK informal If someone, usually a woman, wis on the shelf, she is not married and is considered too old for anyone to want to marry her: In those days, if you hadn't married by the time you were 30, you were definitely on the shelf.
Translations of “on the shelf”
in Chinese (Traditional) 被忽視的, 被擱置的, 廢棄的…
in Chinese (Simplified) 被忽视的, 被搁置的, 废弃的…
(Definition of on the shelf from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “on the shelf” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

ellipsis

a situation in which words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More