Definition of shaft noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃɑːft//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃæft//
    Golf, How machines work
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  1. 1(often in compounds) a long, narrow, usually vertical passage in a building or underground, used especially for a lift/elevator or as a way of allowing air in or out a lift/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. See related entries: Golf
  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 See related entries: How machines work
  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 clever remark that is intended to upset or annoy somebody a shaft of wit
  8. Word OriginOld English scæft, sceaft ‘handle, pole’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaft, German Schaft, and perhaps also to sceptre. Early senses of the verb (late Middle English) were ‘fit with a handle’ and ‘send out shafts of light’.Extra examples She almost fell down an elevator shaft. The workers go down to the tunnels through a vertical shaft sunk from the top of the cliff. They lowered him down to the bottom of the deep shaft.Idioms
    give somebody the shaft
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    (North American English, informal) to treat somebody unfairly
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shaft

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