- 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.
Golf clubs with metal shafts.
shaft definition by Webster's New World
- 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; verge
- 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: Middle 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
shaft definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. The long narrow stem or body of a spear or arrow.b. A spear or arrow.
- a. A projectile suggestive of a spear or arrow in appearance or configuration.b. Informal A scornfully satirical comment; a barb.c. Slang Harsh, unfair treatment. Often used with the: The president of the airline really gave the unions the shaft.
- A ray or beam of light.
- A long thin object or part, as:a. The handle of any of various tools or implements.b. One of two parallel poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle.c. 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.
- Architecture a. A column or obelisk.b. The principal portion of a column, between the capital and the base.
- A long, narrow, often vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for mining ore; a tunnel.
- A vertical passage housing an elevator.
- A duct or conduit for the passage of air, as for ventilation or heating.
- 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).
Origin: Middle English, from Old English sceaft.
shaft - Medical Definition
- An elongated rodlike structure, such as the midsection of a long bone.
- The section of a hair projecting from the surface of the body.
shaft - Phrases/Idioms
get the shaft
give someone the shaft