- the length of time a packaged food, chemical preparation, etc. can be stored without deteriorating
- figuratively, the length of time something remains popular, well-known, etc.
shelf lifeshelf life
(plural shelf lives)
- The length of time a product (especially food and drugs) will last without deteriorating or without being sold.
- The maximum time a packaged material can be stored under specific conditions and still meet the performance requirements specified.