Meaning of SHELL in English
/ ʃel; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C , U ] the hard outer part of eggs, nuts, some seeds and some animals :
We collected shells on the beach.
earrings made out of coconut shell
—picture at nut , crab
—see also eggshell , nutshell , seashell , tortoiseshell
[ C ] any object that looks like the shell of a snail or sea creature :
[ C ] a metal case filled with explosive , to be fired from a large gun
( NAmE ) = cartridge
[ C ] the walls or outer structure of sth, for example, an empty building or ship after a fire or a bomb attack :
The house was now a shell gutted by flames.
( figurative )
My life has been an empty shell since he died.
[ C ] any structure that forms a hard outer frame :
the body shell of a car
[ sing. ] the outer layer of sb's personality; how they seem to be or feel :
She had developed a shell of indifference.
- come out of your shell
- to go / retreat etc. into your shell
to fire shells at sth :
[ vn ]
They shelled the city all night.
[ v ]
Just as they were leaving the rebels started shelling.
[ vn ] to remove the shell or covering from nuts, peas , etc.
- shell out (for sth) | shell sth out (for sth)
Old English scell (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schel scale, shell, also to scale thin plates that cover the skin of many fish and reptiles . The verb dates from the mid 16th cent. in sense 2.
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005