- 1[transitive] shelve something to decide not to continue with a plan, either for a short time or permanently synonym put on ice The government has shelved the idea until at least next year.
- 2[transitive] shelve something to put books, etc. on a shelf
- 3[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of land) to slope downwards The beach shelved gently down to the water. Word Origin senses 1 to 2 late 16th cent. (in the sense ‘project like a shelf’ (Shakespearean usage)): from shelves, plural of shelf. sense 3 late Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from shelf.Extra examples The beach shelves gently down to the sea. The ground shelves quite steeply here. Plans to expand the company have been quietly shelved.
BrE BrE//ʃelv//; NAmE NAmE//ʃelv//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they shelve
BrE BrE//ʃelv//; NAmE NAmE//ʃelv//he / she / it shelves
BrE BrE//ʃelvz//; NAmE NAmE//ʃelvz//past simple shelved
BrE BrE//ʃelvd//; NAmE NAmE//ʃelvd//past participle shelved
BrE BrE//ʃelvd//; NAmE NAmE//ʃelvd//-ing form shelving
BrE BrE//ˈʃelvɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃelvɪŋ//