Definition of "shell" []

  • The usually hard outer covering that encases certain organisms, such as mollusks, insects, and turtles; the carapace. (noun)
  • A similar outer covering on an egg, fruit, or nut. (noun)
  • The material that constitutes such a covering. (noun)
  • Something resembling or having the form of a shell, especially: (noun)
  • An external, usually hard, protective or enclosing case or cover. (noun)
  • The protective calcareous or membranous outer layer of an egg, esp a bird's egg (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • The hard outer covering of many molluscs that is secreted by the mantle (noun)
  • Any other hard outer layer, such as the exoskeleton of many arthropods (noun)
  • The hard outer layer of some fruits, esp of nuts (noun)
  • Any hard outer case (noun)
  • A hollow artillery projectile filled with explosive primed to explode either during flight, on impact, or after penetration (noun)
  • A small-arms cartridge comprising a hollow casing inside which is the primer, charge, and bullet (noun)
  • A pyrotechnic cartridge designed to explode in the air (noun)
  • A very light narrow racing boat (noun)
  • The external structure of a building, esp one that is unfinished or one that has been gutted by fire (noun)
  • The basic structural case of something, such as a machine, vehicle, etc (noun)
  • A class of electron orbits in an atom in which the electrons have the same principal quantum number and orbital angular momentum quantum number and differences in their energy are small compared with differences in energy between shells (noun)
  • An analogous energy state of nucleons in certain theories (shell models) of the structure of the atomic nucleus (noun)
  • The pastry case of a pie, flan, etc (noun)
  • A thin slab of concrete or a skeletal framework made of wood or metal that forms a shell-like roof (noun)
  • (in some schools) a class or form (noun)
  • To divest or be divested of a shell, husk, pod, etc (verb)
  • To separate or be separated from an ear, husk, cob, etc (verb)
  • To bombard with artillery shells (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "shell" in a sentence
  • "I used to listen to the sea in that shell in the sitting-room, and I tried and tried to find a name for the sound, and all at once _song_ came into my head -- _The song of the sea in the shell_."
  • "The Cambridge psychologist C. S. Myers invented the term shell shock in 1915 and it soon became popular with soldiers and civilians as an informal description of the phenomenon."
  • "This produced huge numbers of soldiers unable to fight for psychological reasons—up to 40 percent of battlefield casualties by some estimates.4 But at the time, doctors thought that the concussive effects of the constant shelling somehow damaged the nervous system—hence the name shell shock."