• WordNet 3.6
    • v shaft defeat someone through trickery or deceit
    • v shaft equip with a shaft
    • n shaft the hollow spine of a feather
    • n shaft a revolving rod that transmits power or motion
    • n shaft a long rod or pole (especially the handle of an implement or the body of a weapon like a spear or arrow)
    • n shaft a long vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for a mine or tunnel
    • n shaft (architecture) upright consisting of the vertical part of a column
    • n shaft a vertical passageway through a building (as for an elevator)
    • n shaft a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
    • n shaft obscene terms for penis
    • n shaft the main (mid) section of a long bone
    • n shaft an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect "his parting shot was `drop dead'","she threw shafts of sarcasm","she takes a dig at me every chance she gets"
    • n shaft a line that forms the length of an arrow pointer
    • n shaft a column of light (as from a beacon)
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The lowest point that a person can reach on Earth, outside of riding a submarine or going down a mine shaft, is where the Jordan River enters the Dead Sea. It's 1,290 feet below sea level.
    • Shaft (Bot) A column, an obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument.
    • Shaft (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.
    • Shaft A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air shaft.
    • Shaft (Bot) A pole, especially a Maypole.
    • Shaft (Bot) A rod at the end of a heddle.
    • Shaft (Bot) 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; as, the shaft of a steam engine.
    • Shaft (Mining) A well-like excavation in the earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and raising ore, for raising water, etc.
    • Shaft That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when cylindrical.
    • Shaft (Bot) 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.
    • Shaft The chamber of a blast furnace.
    • Shaft (Bot) The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc.
    • Shaft The long handle of a spear or similar weapon; hence, the weapon itself; (Fig.) anything regarded as a shaft to be thrown or darted; as, shafts of light. "And the thunder,
      Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
      Perhaps hath spent his shafts ."
      "Some kinds of literary pursuits . . . have been attacked with all the shafts of ridicule."
    • Shaft (Bot) The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.
    • Shaft (Bot) The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill.
    • Shaft The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow. "His sleep, his meat, his drink, is him bereft,
      That lean he wax, and dry as is a shaft ."
      "A shaft hath three principal parts, the stele [stale], the feathers, and the head."
    • Shaft (Bot) The stem or midrib of a feather.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shaft A long slender rod forming the body of a spear or lance; also, the spear or lance itself.
    • n shaft 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 shaft Something resembling an arrow or a missile in shape, motion, or effect: as, shafts of light.
    • n shaft A body of a long cylindrical shape; an unbranched stem, stalk, trunk, or the like; the columnar part of anything. Specifically
    • n shaft A handle, as of a tool, utensil, instrument, or the like: as, the shaft of a hammer, ax, whip, etc.
    • n shaft A long lath at each end of the heddles of a loom.
    • n shaft 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 shaft 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 shaft 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 shaft 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 shaft Creation; a creation; a creature.
    • n shaft Make; form; figure.
    • n shaft 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 shaft In golf, the part of a club to which the head is joined.
    • n shaft 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.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Shaft shaft anything long and straight, as the stem of an arrow, &c.: a long arrow, anything like an arrow in form or effect: the part of a column between the base and capital: the stem of a feather: the pole or thill of a carriage: the handle of a tool of any kind
    • n Shaft shaft a well-like excavation sunk into a mine for pumping, hoisting, &c.: the tunnel of a blast-furnace.
    • ***


  • Thomas J. Cottle
    Thomas J. Cottle
    “For many children, joy comes as the result of mining something unique and wondrous about themselves from some inner shaft.”
  • Oliver Goldsmith
    “The heart of every man lies open to the shafts of correction if the archer can take proper aim.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “He who has provoked the shaft of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. shaft, schaft, AS. sceaft,; akin to D. schacht, OHG. scaft, G. schaft, Dan. & Sw. skaft, handle, haft, Icel. skapt, and probably to L. scapus, Gr. , , a staff. Probably originally, a shaven or smoothed rod. Cf. Scape Scepter Shave
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. in this sense from Ger. schacht, a shaft; cog. with foregoing.


In literature:

The flame was already licking up the spear-shaft almost to his grip.
"In the Morning of Time" by Charles G. D. Roberts
He saw the curious misty shaft coming from the loft door.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
A shaft of sunlight fell on the black trunk of a tree a short distance in front of him.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
The son of Hyrtacus, whom erst did huntress Ida yield Unto AEneas' fellowship, keen with the shaft and spear.
"The Æneids of Virgil" by Virgil
For quite half an hour we descended and then the shaft terminated abruptly in the dome of a mighty subterranean world.
"The Gods of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
This shaft, though unpretentious in height and material, is the first ever erected in the "Monumental City" or in the whole United States.
"Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia" by Various
As the tenacity of iron is tremendous, the shaft was securely fastened, but this was not enough.
"Adrift on the Pacific" by Edward S. Ellis
They turned and ran toward the shaft.
"The Plunderer" by Roy Norton
He may coyote into the side of a hill, or sink a shaft and coyote in all directions from it.
"Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining" by John S. Hittell
What gets me is this: the shaft has been plugged again.
"Two Thousand Miles Below" by Charles Willard Diffin

In poetry:

Thy home seemed not of earth--so blest--
But there has fall'n a shaft of fate--
The dove is stricken; and the nest
She warmed and cheered is desolate.
"On The Death Of A Lady" by Maria Gowen Brooks
“Skrepping I call my good thick shield;
Steel shafts have furrow’d it o’er:
Mimmering have I nam’d my sword;
‘T is harden’d in heroes’ gore:
"Vidrik Verlandson (From The Old Danish) " by George Borrow
So the little blind elf with his feathered shaft
Did more than the sword could do,
For he conquered and took with his magical craft
Her heart and her castle, too.
"Wesselenyi" by Hanford Lennox Gordon
And even thus our city of a year
Must pass like those the shafted sunsets build,
Fleeting as all fair things and, fleeting, dear—
A rainbow fallen and an anthem stilled.
"The Evanescent City" by George Sterling
So shall we blazon on the shaft we raise,--
Telling our grief, our pride, to unborn years,--
"He who had lived the mark of all men's praise
Died with the tribute of a Nation's tears."
"Edward Everett" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
But, lo, I hear a waving on the roof of great pinions!
'Tis the labour of a windmill, broad-spreading to the wind!
Lo, down there goes a. shaft through all the house-dominions!
I trace it to a cellar, whose door I cannot find.
"After The Fashion of An Old Emblem" by George MacDonald

In news:

Firefighters had to cut into the ventilation shaft's duct work to pull the teen to safety.
Upgraded white tour wrap 2G grips and CFS stiff shafts.
Star Wars fans felt the shaft in The Phantom Menace when Darth Maul was introduced and quickly killed off — and so did the spiffy-looking Sith lord, who fell to his death after being sliced in two by a lightsaber.
Draw Batch Oven Used for Stress Relieving Stainless Steel Shafts for Turbines.
At least three rare wolves drowned in an abandoned mine shaft on Isle Royale, which explains a worrying drop in their population in the Lake Superior wilderness area, Michigan Technological University officials said Thursday.
Coal-based utilities say that they are getting shafted .
We're Shafted : Water Tunnel 3 Will Drill City.
In the realm of cinema, especially in the major awards circuit, there is one category that often gets shafted to the background: animation.
Kit Facilitates Installation of Aegis Shaft Grounding Ring on Virtually Any Motor.
An archaeological survey ahead of a planned expansion at the University of Virginia Cemetery has uncovered at least 30 previously unrecorded grave shafts.
Calculating The Bending Moment on a Mixer Shaft.
He was born in Standard Shaft, son of the late Matthew and Mary (Brindlinger) Blackburn .
Coal-based utilities say that they are getting shafted.
2nd 787 engine found with cracked mid-shaft.
A quick look at Aldila's newest shafts for 2012.

In science:

The seven surface halls for the cyrogenic plants are connected to the underground tunnel by access shafts.
TESLA Technical Design Report Part I: Executive Summary
The tunnel has segments between access shafts with a longest distance of 5 km.
TESLA Technical Design Report Part I: Executive Summary
Each of these shafts corresponds to about 5 times the present Super-Kamiokande cavity.
Future neutrino oscillation facilities
For the present physical study, the fiducial volume o f 440 kton which means 3 shafts and an Inner Detector (ID) of 57 m in diameter and 57 m in height is assumed.
Future neutrino oscillation facilities
BDS layout, beam and service tunnels (shown in magenta and green), shafts, experimental hall.
ILC Reference Design Report Volume 1 - Executive Summary