Meaning of SHAFT in English


/ ʃɑːft; NAmE ʃæft/ noun , verb

■ noun


(often in compounds) a long, narrow, usually vertical passage in a building or underground, used especially for a lift / elevator or as a way of allowing air in or out :

a lift / elevator shaft

a mineshaft

a ventilation shaft


the long narrow part of an arrow, hammer , golf club , etc.


(often in compounds) a metal bar that joins parts of a machine or an engine together, enabling power and movement to be passed from one part to another

—see also camshaft , crankshaft


[ usually pl. ] either of the two poles at the front of a carriage or cart between which a horse is fastened in order to pull it


shaft of light, sunlight, etc. ( literary ) a narrow strip of light :

A shaft of moonlight fell on the lake.

( figurative )

a shaft of inspiration


shaft of pain, fear, etc. ( literary ) a sudden strong feeling of pain, etc. that travels through your body :

Shafts of fear ran through her as she heard footsteps behind her.


shaft of sth ( formal ) a clever remark that is intended to upset or annoy sb :

a shaft of wit


- give sb the shaft

■ verb

[ vn ] ( informal ) to treat sb unfairly or cheat them



Old English scæft , sceaft handle, pole , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaft , German Schaft , and perhaps also to sceptre . Early senses of the verb ( late Middle English ) were fit with a handle and send out shafts of light .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.