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  1. the long narrow body of a spear or arrow
  2. a beam or ray of light
  3. any long thin object, such as the handle of a tool, one of the poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle, the drive shaft of an engine
  4. the main axis of a feather
  5. (lacrosse) the long narrow body of a lacrosse stick
  6. a long narrow passage sunk into the earth, for mining etc
  7. a vertical passage housing a lift or elevator
  8. a ventilation or heating conduit
  9. a malicious act, as in "to give someone the shaft"
    Etymology: sceaft, from Germanic
    • skaftaz. Cognate with Dutch schaft, German Schaft, Swedish skaft.

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