American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The long narrow stem or body of a spear or arrow.
- n. A spear or arrow.
- n. A projectile suggestive of a spear or arrow in appearance or configuration.
- n. Informal A scornfully satirical comment; a barb.
- n. Slang Harsh, unfair treatment. Often used with the: The president of the airline really gave the unions the shaft.
- n. A ray or beam of light.
- n. A long thin object or part, as:
- n. The handle of any of various tools or implements.
- n. One of two parallel poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle.
- n. A long, generally cylindrical bar that rotates and transmits power, as the drive shaft of an engine.
- n. Zoology The main axis of a feather, especially its distal portion.
- n. Anatomy The midsection of a long bone; the diaphysis.
- n. Anatomy The section of a hair projecting from the surface of the body.
- n. Architecture A column or obelisk.
- n. Architecture The principal portion of a column, between the capital and the base.
- n. A long, narrow, often vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for mining ore; a tunnel.
- n. A vertical passage housing an elevator.
- n. A duct or conduit for the passage of air, as for ventilation or heating.
- v. To equip with a shaft.
- v. Slang To treat in a harsh, unfair way: "He had been shafted by the press quite a bit” ( Frank Deford).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A long slender rod forming the body of a spear or lance; also, the spear or lance itself.
- n. An arrow; a long arrow, used with the long-bow, as distinguished from the bolt, or quarrel, used with the crossbow. See arrow, broad-arrow, flight-arrow.
- n. Something resembling an arrow or a missile in shape, motion, or effect: as, shafts of light.
- n. A body of a long cylindrical shape; an unbranched stem, stalk, trunk, or the like; the columnar part of anything. Specifically
- n. A handle, as of a tool, utensil, instrument, or the like: as, the shaft of a hammer, ax, whip, etc.
- n. A long lath at each end of the heddles of a loom.
- n. One of the bars or trams between a pair of which a horse is harnessed to a vehicle; a thill; also, the pole or tongue of a carriage, chariot, or the like.
- n. In mining, a vertical or inclined excavation made in opening the ground for mining purposes. A shaft may be sunk vertically, without regard to the dip of the lode, or it may be sunk by an incline following the lode, either closely or approximately, according as its dip is more or less regular. When it is expected that extensive operations will be carried on, the shafts are usually sunk vertically, and connected with the lode at various depths by cross-drifts or levels, When, however, the dip of the lode is pretty uniform and its thickness considerable, all the shafts of the mine may he sunk upon it as inclines. This is the case with the largest mines on Lake Superior. Shafts have various forms, some being round, others oval; but the most common shape is rectangular. In large mines the shaft is usually divided into several compartments, one being used for the pumping-machinery, two or more for hoisting ore, and another for lowering heavy timbers. In the English coal-mines the shafts are mostly circular in section; in Belgium, polygonal; in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania the winding shafts are always square or rectangular, and there the largest shafts have a length of from 44 to 52 feet, and a width of 10 or 12.
- n. In milit. mining, a vertical pit the bottom of which serves as a point of departure for a gallery or series of galleries leading to mines or chambers filled with explosives.
- n. The interior space of a blast-furnace above the hearth, and especially the part where the diameter remains nearly the same, or that which is above the boshes. More often called the body of the furnace.
- n. Creation; a creation; a creature.
- n. Make; form; figure.
- n. The main part of an arrow to which are fixed a bit of nocked horn at the butt and a head or pile at the point. See foreshaft.
- n. In golf, the part of a club to which the head is joined.
- n. A shaft on a gas or internal-combustion motor, making one turn to two of the motor-shaft, and carrying the cams and other mechanisms for valves and ignition, when the motor operates on the Otto cycle (see cycle, 12), in which one working stroke occurs in each two revolutions of the fly-wheel shaft.
- n. The long narrow body of a spear or arrow
- n. A beam or ray of light
- n. Any long thin object, such as the handle of a tool, one of the poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle, the driveshaft of a motorized vehicle with rear-wheel drive, an axle, etc.
- n. The main axis of a feather
- n. lacrosse The long narrow body of a lacrosse stick
- n. A long narrow passage sunk into the earth, for mining etc; a mineshaft.
- n. A vertical or near-vertical cave passage.
- n. A vertical passage housing a lift or elevator; a liftshaft.
- n. A ventilation or heating conduit; an air duct.
- n. A malicious act, as in “to give someone the shaft”
- n. The main cylindrical part of the penis
- v. transitive to equip something with a shaft
- v. transitive, slang To have sexual intercourse with someone
- v. transitive, slang To cause someone harm, especially in a deceitful or treacherous way.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow.
- n. The long handle of a spear or similar weapon; hence, the weapon itself; (Fig.) anything regarded as a shaft to be thrown or darted.
- n. (Bot.) That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when cylindrical. The trunk, stem, or stalk of a plant.
- n. (Zoöl.) The stem or midrib of a feather.
- n. The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill.
- n. The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.
- n. obsolete, Obs. or R., obsolete, Obs. or R. The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc.
- n. obsolete, Obs. or R., Obs. or R. A pole, especially a Maypole.
- n. (Arch.), Obs. or R. The body of a column; the cylindrical pillar between the capital and base (see
Illust.of Column). Also, the part of a chimney above the roof. Also, the spire of a steeple.
- n. A column, an obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument.
- n. (Weaving) A rod at the end of a heddle.
- n. (Mach.) A solid or hollow cylinder or bar, having one or more journals on which it rests and revolves, and intended to carry one or more wheels or other revolving parts and to transmit power or motion.
- n. (Zoöl.) A humming bird (Thaumastura cora) having two of the tail feathers next to the middle ones very long in the male; -- called also
cora humming bird.
- n. (Mining) A well-like excavation in the earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and raising ore, for raising water, etc.
- n. A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air shaft.
- n. The chamber of a blast furnace.
- n. the main (mid) section of a long bone
- v. equip with a shaft
- n. a revolving rod that transmits power or motion
- n. (architecture) upright consisting of the vertical part of a column
- n. an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect
- n. a long rod or pole (especially the handle of an implement or the body of a weapon like a spear or arrow)
- n. obscene terms for penis
- n. a long vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for a mine or tunnel
- n. a column of light (as from a beacon)
- n. a line that forms the length of an arrow pointer
- n. the hollow spine of a feather
- n. a vertical passageway through a building (as for an elevator)
- v. defeat someone through trickery or deceit
- n. a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
- Old English sceaft, from Germanic Proto-Germanic *skaftaz. Cognate with Dutch schacht, German Schaft, Swedish skaft. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English sceaft. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The arrangement may be called an electric clutch, that may be arranged in many ways, and the detail of its action is unimportant in description, so that it be borne in mind that _each time a notch is passed in turning the shaft by drawing upon or relaxing the cords attached to the pencil-point_, an impulse of electricity is sent to an electro-magnet and armature which allows _a corresponding wheel and its shaft to turn one notch, or as many notches, as are passed at the transmitting shaft_.”
“We don't know if we're going down to the ground floor or to the basement or whether the entire lift shaft is empty and we're plunging to our doom.”
“Once the shaft is completed and has been fitted with the proper equipment, the men are to be brought up one at a time in a metal capsule.”
“Officials say the drill making an escape shaft is within days of reaching the men.”
“The officials say a drill boring the rescue shaft is now within 100 meters of where the miners are located.”
“Still, there was one break-out indie film this year we're surprised got the shaft from the Academy: "(500) Days of Summer.”
“The Fortrex comes in shaft lengths to 62 inches; 80 or 101 pounds of thrust; 24 - or 36-volt only.”
“Make sure the shaft is clean (they sell a cleaner also that you can dip the shafts in).”
“Copper production rose 3% on the year to 291,200 tons as Olympic Dam returned to full production after 2009's damage to the mine's main shaft, with record ore hoisting rates hit during the quarter.”
“The government set Wednesday as its target date to begin hoisting the trapped men out of the mine, saying that the nearly half-mile long shaft is sufficiently sound that only a small stretch of it will need to be reinforced with steel pipe.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘shaft’.
Coal mining has engendered fascinating subcultures in industry, labor, music, folklore, environment and energy. It has a rich vocabulary as well, and I've encountered some gorgeous mining words. I...
Unabashedly stolen from a comment made by courier12.
A collection of coal mining and colliery terms. Some British, some Scots, and some, Other. Many terms are quite to the point; others colorful and imaginative.
Also see Middlesmith's li...
Euphemisms for the penis.
A Testicle by Any Other Name
Ward, I'm worried about the beaver
yada yada yada
A list of terms pertaining to columns employed in architecture.
Wordnik is organized as columns.
What a row!
Just what it says. Archery rocks.
Words that relate to, or come from, the weaving trade.
Shamelessly ripped off from this site and others (to be named hereinafter). (Fair warning: for my own edification, I may add definitions/comments from the site, but you might want to just go there ...
Off the straight and narrow; less than straight arrow.
Looking for tweets for shaft.