- A hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal:
- The covering, or outside part, of a nut; as, a hazelnut shell.
- A pod.
- The hard covering of an egg.
- The hard calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates. In some mollusks, as the cuttlefishes, it is internal, or concealed by the mantle. Also, the hard covering of some vertebrates, as the armadillo, the tortoise, and the like.
- The husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is often used as a substitute for chocolate, cocoa, etc.
- Hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering.
- (plural: ) An artillery projectile or charge case:
- A hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an explosive substance, ignited with a fuze or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and its fragments scattered. See Bomb.
- The case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms.
- Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as, the shell of a house.
- (garment) A top, usually worn by women, with short or no sleeves that fastens, if it does, in the rear.
- A coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one.
- (music) An instrument of music, as a lyre, -- the first lyre having been made, it is said, by drawing strings over a tortoise shell.
- An engraved copper roller used in print works.
- The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.
- (nautical) A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood or with paper; as, a racing shell.
- A drum shell; the usually wooden, cylindrical acoustic chamber, with or without rims added for tuning and attaching drum heads.
- (computing) A general-purpose environment, usually CLI, command-line-oriented, within which other commands are invoked and their interactions controlled.
- (context, chemistry) A set of atomic orbitals that have the same principal quantum number.
- To remove the outer covering or shell of something. See sheller.
- To bombard, to fire projectiles at.
- (informal) To disburse or give up money, to pay. (Often used with out).
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Full Definition of shell