Shell meaning

shĕl
Shell is defined as to remove the outside cover of something.

An example of to shell is removing the seeds from a dried flower pod.

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Something resembling or having the form of a shell, especially:
  • An external, usually hard, protective or enclosing case or cover.
  • A framework or exterior, as of a building.
  • A thin layer of pastry.
  • The external part of the ear.
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A small glass for beer.
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An attitude or a manner adopted to mask one's true feelings or to protect one from perceived or real danger.

Embarrassed, she withdrew into a shell.

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A program that works with the operating system as a command processor, used to enter commands and initiate their execution.
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A company or corporation created by a second company or corporation for the purposes of facilitating a particular transaction, especially one that is intended to be concealed.
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To separate the kernels of (corn) from the cob.
verb
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To fire shells at; bombard.
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To shed or become free of a shell.
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To look for or collect shells, as on a seashore.

Spent the day shelling on Cape Cod.

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A hard outer covering, as of a turtle, mollusk, insect, egg, fruit, seed, etc.
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Something like or suggestive of a shell in being hollow, empty, or simply a covering or framework, as the hull of a boat, a hollow pastry or unfilled pie crust, the framework of a building, a structure with an arched or hemispherical roof or back, a tapered beer glass, etc.
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A shy, reserved, or uncommunicative attitude or manner.

To come out of one's shell.

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A woman's simple sleeveless blouse or sweater.
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A long, narrow, thin-hulled racing boat rowed usually by a team of oarsmen.
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An explosive artillery projectile containing high explosives and sometimes shrapnel, chemicals, etc.
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A cartridge for small arms or small artillery, consisting of a metal, paper, or plastic case holding the primer, powder charge, and shot or bullet.
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A pyrotechnic cartridge which explodes high in the air.
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To remove the shell or covering from; take out of the shell.

To shell peas, oysters, etc.

verb
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To separate kernels or grains of (corn, wheat, etc.) from the cob or ear.
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To fire shells at from a large gun or guns; bombard.
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To separate from the shell or covering.

Peanuts shell easily.

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To fall, slough, or peel off.
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To gather or collect shells.
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The outer layer of an operating system, otherwise known as the user interface. The term originally referred to the software that processed the commands typed into the Unix operating system. For example, the Bourne shell was the original Unix command line processor, and C shell and Korn shell were developed later. The default command line interface in DOS was provided by the COMMAND.COM module, which, starting with Windows 95 was superseded by CMD.EXE. See command line and user interface.Later, the term was applied to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). For example, the default shell in Windows is Explorer, which provides the Start menu, taskbar and desktop, but third-party choices are also available (see skin). DOS also had an alternative to the command line (see DOS Shell). See Explorer, PowerShell, Bourne shell, C shell and Korn shell.
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The default command-line interface on UNIX systems.
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  • The calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates.
    In some mollusks, as the cuttlefish, the shell is concealed by the animal's outer mantle and is considered internal.
    Genuine mother of pearl buttons are made from sea shells.
  • (by extension) Any mollusk having such a covering.
  • (entomology) The exoskeleton or wing covers of certain insects.
  • The conjoined scutes that comprise the "shell" (carapace) of a tortoise or turtle.
  • The overlapping hard plates comprising the armor covering the armadillo's body.
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The hard calcareous covering of a bird egg.
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The hard external covering of various plant seed forms.
  • The covering, or outside part, of a nut.
    The black walnut and the hickory nut, both of the same Genus as the pecan, have much thicker and harder shells than the pecan.
  • A pod containing the seeds of certain plants, such as the legume Phaseolus vulgaris.
  • (in the plural) Husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is sometimes used as a substitute or adulterant for cocoa and its products such as chocolate.
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The accreted mineral formed around a hollow geode.
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The casing of a self-contained single-unit artillery projectile.
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A hollow usually spherical or cylindrical projectile fired from a siege mortar or a smoothbore cannon. It contains an explosive substance designed to be ignited by a fuse or by percussion at the target site so that it will burst and scattered at high velocity its contents and fragments. Formerly called a bomb.
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Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in, as the shell of a house.
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A garment, usually worn by women, such as a shirt, blouse, or top, with short sleeves or no sleeves, that often fastens in the rear.
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A coarse or flimsy coffin; a thin interior coffin enclosed within a more substantial one.

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(music) A string instrument, as a lyre, whose acoustical chamber is formed like a shell.

The first lyre may have been made by drawing strings over the underside of a tortoise shell.

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(music) The body of a drum; the often wooden, often cylindrical acoustic chamber, with or without rims added for tuning and for attaching the drum head.
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(nautical) The watertight outer covering of the hull of a vessel, often made with planking or metal plating.
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(nautical, rigging) The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.
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(nautical) A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood, impermeable fabric, or water-proofed paper; a racing shell or dragon boat.
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(computing) An operating system software user interface, whose primary purpose is to launch other programs and control their interactions; the user's command interpreter.

The name shell originates from it being viewed as an outer layer of interface between the user and the internals of the operating system.

The name "Bash" is an acronym which stands for "Bourne-again shell", itself a pun on the name of the "Bourne shell", an earlier Unix shell designed by Stephen Bourne, and the Christian concept of being "born again".

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(chemistry) A set of atomic orbitals that have the same principal quantum number.
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An emaciated person.

He's lost so much weight from illness; he's a shell of his former self.

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A psychological barrier to social interaction.

Even after months of therapy he's still in his shell.

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(business) A legal entity that has no operations.

A shell corporation was formed to acquire the old factory.

noun
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To remove the outer covering or shell of something. See sheller.
verb
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To bombard, to fire projectiles at.
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(informal) To disburse or give up money, to pay. (Often used with out).
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(intransitive) To fall off, as a shell, crust, etc.
verb
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(intransitive) To cast the shell, or exterior covering; to fall out of the pod or husk.

Nuts shell in falling.

Wheat or rye shells in reaping.

verb
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(computing, intransitive) To switch to a shell or command line.
verb
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The definition of a shell is a hard covering on the outside of something.

An example of a shell is what you crack to open an egg.

An example of a shell is the hard part of a snail.

noun
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Shell means to fire explosives from a large gun or guns.

An example of to shell is the military bombing civilian homes.

verb
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shell out
  • To pay out (money).
idiom
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of shell

  • Middle English from Old English scell skel-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English schelle, from Old English (Anglian) scell 'eggshell, seashell', (South) sciell, sciel, from Proto-Germanic *skaljō (compare West Frisian skyl (“peel, rind"), Dutch schil (“peel, skin, rink"), Low German Schell (“shell, scale")), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kel- (“to split, cleave") (compare Irish scelec (“pebble"), Latin silex (“pebble, flint"), siliqua (“pod"), Old Church Slavonic сколика (skolika, “shell")). More at shale. Doublet of sheal.

    From Wiktionary