Meaning of SHELL in English

SHELL

I. shell 1 S3 W3 /ʃel/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sciell ]

1 .

a) the hard outer part that covers and protects an egg, nut, or seed:

Never buy eggs with cracked shells.

peanuts roasted in their shells

b) the hard protective covering of an animal such as a ↑ snail , ↑ mussel , or ↑ crab :

a snail shell

The children were collecting shells on the beach.

⇨ ↑ seashell

2 . a metal container, like a large bullet, which is full of an explosive substance and is fired from a large gun:

We ran for cover as shells dropped all around us.

an exploding mortar shell

3 . especially American English a metal tube containing a bullet and an explosive substance SYN cartridge

4 . the outside structure of something, especially the part of a building that remains when the rest of it has been destroyed

shell of

the burnt-out shell of a nightclub

5 . out of your shell becoming less shy and more confident and willing to talk to people:

I had hoped that university would bring him out of his shell.

She’s started to come out of her shell a little.

II. shell 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

1 . to fire shells from large guns at something:

The army has been shelling the town since yesterday.

2 . to remove something such as beans or nuts from a shell or ↑ pod :

Josie was shelling peas in the kitchen.

shell out (something) phrasal verb informal

to pay a lot of money for something, especially unwillingly:

If you want the repairs done right, you’ll have to shell out at least $800.

shell out (something) for

She ended up shelling out for two rooms.

• • •

THESAURUS

▪ shoot verb [intransitive and transitive] to use a gun to fire bullets, or to kill or injure someone using a gun:

He ordered his men to stop shooting.

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The guards shot the man as he was trying to escape.

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President Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman.

▪ fire verb [intransitive and transitive] to shoot bullets from a gun, or send an explosive object towards someone or something:

Soldiers fired into the crowd.

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Helicopters fired rockets at several buildings.

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He regained his balance, took aim, and fired.

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The police fired into the air to make the crowd break up.

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As soon as we crossed the border, enemy troops started firing at us.

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Kendrick fired three shots at the President’s car.

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Suddenly the car stopped, and the passenger got out and fired a Kalashnikov rifle at the police car.

▪ launch verb [transitive] to send a large rocket or ↑ missile into the air:

American warships launched cruise missiles.

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The guerrillas launched their rockets from densely populated towns.

▪ open fire to start shooting:

Nineteen students were injured after a gunman opened fire.

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Troops opened fire on a group of unarmed demonstrators.

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The colonel gave the order for the soldiers to open fire.

▪ shell verb [transitive] to fire shells (=metal containers filled with an explosive substance) at enemy soldiers, cities etc in a war, using large guns:

Border towns have been shelled by enemy aircraft for the past two months.

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British warships began shelling German positions along the coast.

▪ bombard verb [transitive] to attack a place for a long time with shells or bombs:

Allied forces bombarded the coast prior to the invasion.

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Troops bombarded the area with shells.

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The allied forces bombarded the enemy trenches for weeks.

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Cromwell’s men had been bombarding the fort with their artillery for several days.

▪ take a potshot at somebody/something to shoot at someone or something without aiming very carefully:

Someone tried to take a potshot at him, but hit the man behind instead.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.