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a. The usually hard outer covering that encases certain organisms, such as insects, turtles, and most mollusks.
b. A similar outer covering on a nut or seed.
c. A similar outer covering on certain eggs, such as those of birds and reptiles; an eggshell.
d. The material that constitutes such a covering.
2. Something resembling or having the form of a shell, especially:
a. An external, usually hard, protective or enclosing case or cover.
b. A framework or exterior, as of a building.
c. A thin layer of pastry.
d. The external part of the ear.
3. Nautical
a. The hull of a ship.
b. A light, long, narrow racing boat propelled by rowers.
4. A small glass for beer.
a. An artillery projectile containing an explosive charge.
b. A metal or cardboard case containing the charge and primer for a piece of firearms ammunition, especially one also containing shot and fired from a shotgun.
6. An attitude or a manner adopted to mask one's true feelings or to protect one from perceived or real danger: Embarrassed, she withdrew into a shell.
7. Physics
a. A set of electron orbitals having nearly the same energy and sharing the same first quantum number.
b. Any of the stable states of other particles or collections of particles (such as the nucleons in an atomic nucleus) at a given energy or small range of energies.
a. A usually sleeveless and collarless, typically knit blouse.
b. A thin, usually waterproof or windproof outer garment for the upper body.
9. Computers A program that works with the operating system as a command processor, used to enter commands and initiate their execution.
10. A company or corporation created by a second company or corporation for the purposes of facilitating a particular transaction, especially one that is intended to be concealed.
v. shelled, shell·ing, shells
a. To remove the shell of; shuck: shell oysters.
b. To remove from a shell: shell peas.
2. To separate the kernels of (corn) from the cob.
3. To fire shells at; bombard.
a. To defeat decisively.
b. Baseball To hit the pitches of (a pitcher) hard and with regularity: shelled the pitcher for eight runs in the first inning.
1. To shed or become free of a shell.
2. To look for or collect shells, as on a seashore: spent the day shelling on Cape Cod.
Phrasal Verb:
shell out Informal
To hand over; pay: had to shell out $500 in car repairs.

[Middle English, from Old English scell; see skel- in Indo-European roots.]

shell adj.
shell′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a person employed to shell peas or to open oyster shells
2. a device used to put a coating or shell on something
3. someone who collects seashells
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈʃɛl ər)

1. a person or device that shells something.
2. a person who collects seashells.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sheller - a worker who removes shells (as of peas or oysters)
worker - a person who works at a specific occupation; "he is a good worker"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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In a study of postemancipation popular democracy it is unfortunate to see no references to Mimi Sheller's pioneering Democracy after Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Rebellion In Jamaica and Haiti (2000) or my own discussion of the importance of emigration in nineteenth-century Barbadian democratic consciousness and the systematic suppression by the island's press and local officials of information about black protest.