Meaning of SHAFT in English


I. ˈshaft noun

( plural shafts ˈshaf(t)s, for 1b usually ˈshavz)

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceaft; akin to Old High German scaft shaft, Latin scapus shaft, stalk, Greek skēptesthai to prop oneself, lean

Date: before 12th century



(1) : the long handle of a spear or similar weapon

(2) : spear , lance

b. or plural shaves ˈshavz : pole ; specifically : either of two long pieces of wood between which a horse is hitched to a vehicle


(1) : an arrow especially for a longbow

(2) : the body or stem of an arrow extending from the nock to the head

2. : a sharply delineated beam of light shining through an opening

3. : something suggestive of the shaft of a spear or arrow especially in long slender cylindrical form: as

a. : the trunk of a tree

b. : the cylindrical pillar between the capital and the base

c. : the handle of a tool or instrument (as a golf club)

d. : a commonly cylindrical bar used to support rotating pieces or to transmit power or motion by rotation

e. : the stem or central axis of a feather

f. : the upright member of a cross especially below the arms

g. : the cylindrical part of a long bone between the enlarged ends

h. : a small architectural column (as at each side of a doorway)

i. : a column, obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument

j. : a vertical or inclined opening of uniform and limited cross section made for finding or mining ore, raising water, or ventilating underground workings (as in a cave)

k. : the part of a hair that is visible above the surface of the skin

l. : a vertical opening or passage through the floors of a building


a. : a projectile thrown like a spear or shot like an arrow

b. : a scornful, satirical, or pithily critical remark or attack

c. : harsh or unfair treatment — usually used with the

gave them the shaft

II. transitive verb

Date: 1611

1. : to fit with a shaft

2. : to treat unfairly or harshly

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.