1. Abounding in shelves; full of dangerous shallows. "A shelfy coast." Dryden.
2. Full of strata of rock. [Obs.]
The tillable fields are in some places . . . so shelfy that the corn hath much ado to fasten its root.Carew.
(Shell) n. [OE. shelle, schelle, AS. scell, scyll; akin to D. shel, Icel. skel, Goth. skalja a tile,
and E. skill. Cf. Scale of fishes, Shale, Skill.]
1. A hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal. Specifically: (a) The covering, or outside part, of
a nut; as, a hazelnut shell. (b) A pod. (c) The hard covering of an egg.
Think him as a serpent's egg, . . .Shak.
And kill him in the shell.
(d) (Zoöl.) 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. (e) (Zoöl.) Hence, by
extension, any mollusks having such a covering.
2. (Mil.) A hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an
explosive substance, ignited with a fuse or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and
its fragments scattered. See Bomb.
3. The case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms.
4. Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as,
the shell of a house.
5. A coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one. Knight.