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shelf

shelf / shelf/ • n. (pl. shelves / shelvz/ ) a flat length of wood or rigid material, attached to a wall or forming part of a piece of furniture, that provides a surface for the storage or display of objects. ∎  a ledge of rock or protruding strip of land. ∎  a submarine bank, or a part of the continental shelf. PHRASES: off the shelf not designed or made to order but taken from existing stock or supplies: off-the-shelf software packages. on the shelf (of people or things) no longer useful or desirable: an injury that has kept him on the shelf.DERIVATIVES: shelf·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) shelf·like / -ˌlīk/ adj. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Middle Low German schelf; related to Old English scylfe ‘partition,’ scylf ‘crag.’

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shelf

shelf1 horizontal slab of wood, etc. to hold objects XIV; ledge or terrace of land XIX (shelfy adj. XVIII). — (M)LG. schelf shelf, set of shelves; rel. to OE. sċylfe partition, compartment, sċylf partition, compartment, sċylf rugged rock, crag, pinnacle.
Hence shelves vb. †project like a shelf; provide with shelves. XVI.

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shelf

shelf A gently sloping or near-horizontal, shallow, marine platform. Horizontal shelf areas, particularly in carbonatedominated areas, are referred to as ‘platforms’ if they have precipitate margins; more uniformly sloping shallow marine carbonate areas are termed ‘ramps’.

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shelf

shelf A gently sloping or near horizontal, shallow, marine platform. Horizontal shelf areas, particularly in carbonate-dominated areas, are called ‘platforms’ if they have precipitate margins; more uniformly sloping, shallow, marine, carbonate areas are known as ‘ramps’.

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shelf

shelf2 sandbank in the sea or a river. XVI. prob. alt., by assoc. with prec., of synon. †shelp (XV), repr. OE. sċylp, of unkn. orig.

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shelf

shelf •Ralph •elf, herself, himself, itself, myself, oneself, ourself, self, shelf, themself, thyself, yourself •mantelshelf • bookshelf • sylph •golf, Rolf, Wolf •Randolph • Rudolph •Wolfe, Woolf •aardwolf • werewolf • Beowulf •engulf, gulf •Ranulf

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