(Shaf"fle) v. i. [See Shuffle.] To hobble or limp; to shuffle. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
(Shaf"fler) n. A hobbler; one who limps; a shuffer. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
(Sha"fi*ite) n. A member of one of the four sects of the Sunnites, or Orthodox Mohammedans;
so called from its founder, Mohammed al-Shafeï.
(Shaft) n. [OE. shaft, schaft, AS. sceaft; akin to D. schacht, OHG. scaft, G. schaft, Dan. &
Sw. skaft handle, haft, Icel. skapt, and probably to L. scapus, Gr. a staff. Probably originally, a shaven
or smoothed rod. Cf. Scape, Scepter, Shave.]
1. The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow.
His sleep, his meat, his drink, is him bereft,Chaucer.
That lean he wax, and dry as is a shaft.
A shaft hath three principal parts, the stele [stale], the feathers, and the head.Ascham.
2. The long handle of a spear or similar weapon; hence, the weapon itself; (Fig.) anything regarded as a
shaft to be thrown or darted; as, shafts of light.
And the thunder,Milton.
Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts.
Some kinds of literary pursuits . . . have been attacked with all the shafts of ridicule.V. Knox.
3. That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender
part, especially when cylindrical. Specifically: (a) (Bot.) The trunk, stem, or stalk of a plant. (b) (Zoöl.)
The stem or midrib of a feather. See Illust. of Feather. (c) The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a
thill. (d) The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.
Thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold . . . his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and
his flowers, shall be of the same.Ex. xxv. 31.
(e) The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc. (f) A pole, especially
a Maypole. [Obs.] Stow. (g) (Arch.) The body of a column; the cylindrical pillar between the capital