Golf clubs with metal shafts.
- The definition of a shaft is a long, narrow handle or a long narrow part of something, a sudden bolt of light or a sudden flash of some feeling.
- The long narrow handle of a golf club is an example of a shaft.
- A long narrow mine shaft or a vertical elevator shaft are both examples of a shaft.
- A sudden bolt of lightening is an example of a shaft of lightening.
- A sudden flash of happiness is an example of a shaft of happiness.
- To shaft is to treat someone harshly or unfairly.
When you stiff someone on pay you owe him, this is an example of a time when you shaft him.
- the long stem or body of an arrow or spear
- an arrow or spear
- a missile or something that seems to be hurled like a missile; bolt: shafts of lightning, derision, etc.
- a cone or column of light; ray; beam
- a long, slender part or object; specif.,
- Rare the trunk of a tree or stem of a plant
- the stem or rib of a feather
- the midsection of a long bone
- the supporting stem of a branched candlestick
- a column or obelisk; also, the main, usually cylindrical, part between the ends of a column or pillar
- a flagpole
- a tall, slender building or part of a building; spire
- a handle, as on some tools or implements
- either of the two poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle; thill
- a bar, usually cylindrical, for supporting or transmitting motion to a wheel, pulley, gear, cam, etc.: the drive shaft of an engine
- a long, narrow, vertical or slanting passage sunk into the earth: a mine shaft
- a vertical opening passing through the floors of a building, as for an elevator
- a conduit for air, as used in heating and ventilating
Origin of shaftMiddle English schaft from Old English sceaft, akin to German schaft from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)kap-, to cut with a sharp tool from source shave, Classical Greek skapos, rod, Classical Latin scapus, shaft, stalk
get the shaft
give someone the shaft
- A long thin object or part, as:a. The long narrow stem or body of a spear or arrow.b. A spear or arrow.c. The handle of any of various tools or implements.d. One of two parallel poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle.e. A long, generally cylindrical bar that rotates and transmits power, as the drive shaft of an engine.
- Zoology The main axis of a feather, especially its distal portion.
- Anatomy a. The midsection of a long bone; the diaphysis.b. The section of a hair projecting from the surface of the body.c. The body of the clitoris, extending from the root to the glans.d. The body of the penis, extending from the root to the glans.
- Architecture a. A column or obelisk.b. The principal portion of a column, between the capital and the base.
- Something suggestive of a spear or arrow in appearance or configuration, as:a. A ray or beam of light.b. A bolt of lightning.
- a. A long, narrow, often vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for mining ore; a tunnel.b. A vertical passage housing an elevator.c. A duct or conduit for the passage of air, as for ventilation or heating.
- The upright portion of a boot that covers the leg.
- a. A scornful or sarcastic remark; a barb.b. Slang Harsh, unfair treatment. Often used with the : The management gave the unions the shaft.
- Vulgar Slang A penis.
transitive verbshaft·ed, shaft·ing, shafts
- To equip with a shaft.
- Slang To treat in a harsh, unfair way: “He had been shafted by the press quite a bit” ( Frank Deford )
- Slang To penetrate (someone) sexually.
Origin of shaftMiddle English from Old English sceaft
- A shaft hath three principal parts, the stele, the feathers, and the head.
- The long, narrow, central body of a spear, arrow, or javelin.
- Her hand slipped off the javelin's shaft towards the spearpoint and that's why her score was lowered.
- (by extension) Anything cast or thrown as a spear or javelin.
- Any long thin object, such as the handle of a tool, one of the poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle, the driveshaft of a motorized vehicle with rear-wheel drive, an axle, etc.
- A beam or ray of light.
- Isn't that shaft of light from that opening in the cave beautiful?
- The main axis of a feather.
- I had no idea that they removed the feathers' shafts to make the pillows softer!
- (lacrosse) The long narrow body of a lacrosse stick.
- Sarah, if you wear gloves your hands might not slip on your shaft and you can up your game, girl!
- A long, narrow passage sunk into the earth, either natural or for artificial
- Your grandfather used to work with a crane hauling ore out of the gold mine's shafts.
- A vertical passage housing a lift or elevator; a liftshaft.
- Darn it, my keys fell through the gap and into the elevator shaft.
- A ventilation or heating conduit; an air duct.
- Our parrot flew into the air duct and got stuck in the shaft.
- (architecture) Any column or pillar, particularly the body of a column between its capital and pediment
- The main cylindrical part of the penis.
- The female labia minora is homologous to the penis shaft skin of males.
- The chamber of a blast furnace.
In Early Modern English, the shaft refered to the entire body of a long weapon, such that an arrow's "shaft" was composed of its "tip", "stale" or "steal", and "fletching". Palsgrave (c."‰1530) glossed the French jempenne as "I fether a shafte, I put fethers upon a steale". Over time, the word came to be used in place of the former "stale" and lost its original meaning.
(third-person singular simple present shafts, present participle shafting, simple past and past participle shafted)
Old English sceaft, from Germanic Proto-Germanic *skaftaz. Cognate with Dutch schacht, German Schaft, Swedish skaft.