Origin of shell

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English scell (north), sciell; cognate with Dutch schil peel, skin, rink, Old Norse skel shell, Gothic skalja tile; (v.) derivative of the noun; cf. shale


shell-less, adjective shell-like, adjective de-shell, verb (used with object)

Definition for shell (2 of 2)

[ sheel; unstressed shil ]
/ ʃil; unstressed ʃɪl /

contraction of she will.

usage note for she'll

Example sentences from the Web for shell

British Dictionary definitions for shell (1 of 2)

/ (ʃɛl) /



See also shell out

Derived forms of shell

shell-less, adjective shelly, adjective

Word Origin for shell

Old English sciell; related to Old Norse skel shell, Gothic skalja tile, Middle Low German schelle shell; see scale 1, shale

British Dictionary definitions for shell (2 of 2)

/ (ʃiːl, unstressed ʃɪl) /

contraction of

she will or she shall

Scientific definitions for shell

[ shĕl ]

  1. The usually hard outer covering of certain animals, such as mollusks, insects, and turtles.
  2. The hard outer covering of a bird's egg.
  3. The hard outer covering of a seed, nut, or fruit.
  1. A set of electron orbitals that have nearly the same energy. Electrons in outer shells have greater energy than those in shells closer to the nucleus. Elements in the Periodic Table range from the lightest elements with electrons normally occupying one shell (hydrogen and helium) to the heaviest, with electrons in seven shells (radium and uranium, for instance). See more at atomic spectrum orbital subshell. See Note at metal.
  2. 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.

Idioms and Phrases with shell