American English

Definition of shaft noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(often in compounds) a long, narrow, usually vertical passage in a building or underground, used especially for an elevator or as a way of allowing air in or out an elevator shaft a mineshaft a ventilation shaft
  2. 2the long, narrow part of an arrow, hammer, golf club, etc. The clubs are fitted with graphite shafts.
  3. 3(often in compounds) a metal bar that joins parts of a machine or an engine together, enabling power and movement to be passed from one part to another see also camshaft, crankshaft
  4. 4[usually plural] either of the two poles at the front of a carriage or cart between which a horse is fastened in order to pull it
  5. 5shaft of light, sunlight, etc. (literary) a narrow strip of light A shaft of moonlight fell on the lake. (figurative) a shaft of inspiration
  6. 6shaft of pain, fear, etc. (literary) a sudden, strong feeling of pain, etc. that travels through your body Shafts of fear ran through her as she heard footsteps behind her.
  7. 7shaft of something (formal) a remark that is intended to upset or annoy someone a shaft of wit
  8. Idioms
    give somebody the shaft (informal)
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    to treat someone unfairly
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: shaft

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