• Construction of a Knock-Down Book-Shelf Seen From the Back
    Construction of a Knock-Down Book-Shelf Seen From the Back
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n shelf a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects
    • n shelf a projecting ridge on a mountain or submerged under water
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Complete Wall Shelf Complete Wall Shelf
Wall Shelf Detail Wall Shelf Detail

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Some farmers in Japan have learned to grow their watermelons into a square shape. They did this to conserve shelf space
    • Shelf (Arch) A flat tablet or ledge of any material set horizontally at a distance from the floor, to hold objects of use or ornament.
    • Shelf (Naut) A piece of timber running the whole length of a vessel inside the timberheads.
    • Shelf A sand bank in the sea, or a rock, or ledge of rocks, rendering the water shallow, and dangerous to ships. "On the tawny sands and shelves .""On the secret shelves with fury cast."
    • Shelf (Mining) A stratum lying in a very even manner; a flat, projecting layer of rock.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: If you had fifteen books on a shelf and you arrange them in every possible combination, and if you made one change every minute, it would take you 2,487,996 years to do them all.
    • n shelf A thin slab or plank, a piece of marble, slate, wood, or other material, generally long and narrow, fixed horizontally to a wall, and used for supporting small objects; in general, a narrow flat surface, horizontal or nearly so, and raised above a larger surface, as of a floor or the ground.
    • n shelf In ship-building, an inner timber, or line of timbers, following the sheer of the vessel, and bolted to the inner side of ribs, to strengthen the frame and sustain the deck-beams. See cut under beam, 3.
    • n shelf The charging-bed of a furnace.
    • n shelf In scissors, the bottom of the countersink which receives the head of the screw uniting the two blades
    • shelf Same as shelve.
    • n shelf A rock, ledge of rocks, reef, or sand-bank in the sea, rendering the water shallow and dangerous to ships; a reef or shoal; a shallow spot.
    • n shelf A projecting layer or ledge of rock on land.
    • n shelf The bed-rock; the surface of the bed-rock; the rock first met with after removing or sinking through the superficial detritus.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Twinkies have a shelf life of about 25 years.
    • n Shelf shelf a board fixed on a wall, &c., for laying things on: a flat layer of rock: a ledge: a shoal: a sandbank
    • ***


  • Ezra Pound
    “People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.”
  • Philip Larkin
    Philip Larkin
    “Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, and don't have any kids yourself.”
  • John Mortimer
    John Mortimer
    “The shelf life of the modern hardback writer is somewhere between the milk and the yogurt.”


Off the shelf - If a product is off the shelf, it can be used straightaway without any setting-up.
On the shelf - If something like a project is on the shelf, nothing is being done about it at the moment.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. shelfe, schelfe, AS. scylfe,; akin to G. schelfe, Icel. skjālf,. In senses 2 & 3, perhaps a different word (cf. Shelve (v. i.))
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. scylfe, a plank, Ice. skjálf, a bench.


In literature:

The earth had been heaped on all, and the result was a narrow road running along the cliff like a shelf.
"Jack Haydon's Quest" by John Finnemore
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf; If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.
"Childhood's Favorites and Fairy Stories" by Various
Will reached to the top of a shelf for an electric flashlight and swung the circle of flame about the room.
"The Call of the Beaver Patrol" by V. T. Sherman
She put out her hand to rest it on the mantel-shelf, but her companion took it on the way and held it in both his own.
"The Tragic Muse" by Henry James
There was a work-box on a little table, a writing-desk on another; a shelf of books hung on the wall.
"Mary Gray" by Katharine Tynan
The sailor closed the door of his room and set a match to a candle which he found on a shelf hanging to a wall.
"Boy Scouts in the Philippines" by G. Harvey Ralphson
As to Thackeray's, they are terrible; I really look at them on the shelf, and am half afraid to touch them.
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes Vol. II" by Edward FitzGerald
After the soap has hardened and been cut, have it put away on a shelf to dry.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Household Science in Rural Schools" by Ministry of Education Ontario
His mother replaced it on the shelf.
"A Son of the City" by Herman Gastrell Seely
The higher bench at the end of the room is used as a shelf for paraphernalia.
"Eighth Annual Report" by Various

In poetry:

Thy grace, O Lord, it is thyself;
Thy presence is thy light;
I cannot lay it on my shelf,
Or take it from thy sight.
"The Prism" by George MacDonald
Then I open my little book-case,
When the quiet is breathing low,
And I take from the shelf in silence
A volume of long ago.
"He Came From A Land" by Alexander Anderson
It drives me in upon myself
And to the fireside gleams,
To pleasant books that crowd my shelf,
And still more pleasant dreams,
"Travels" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A speckled trout. The spotted elf,
Whom I had come so far to see,
Stretched out above a rocky shelf,
A shadow sleeping mockingly.
"The Speckled Trout" by Madison Julius Cawein
And still no nearer to the Light,
And still no further from myself,
Alone and lost in clinging night
—(The clock’s still ticking on the shelf).
"In Praise Of Solid People" by C S Lewis
"There is no other shelf to call
A bed--But just beyond the gate,
You may find shelter in a stall,
If there be shelter left at all,
You may be even now too late."
"A Legend Of Christ's Nativity" by Duncan Campbell Scott

In news:

Top Shelf has posted a preview of Jeff Lemire's Essex County trilogy, which will be coming out in a single volume later this year.
View full size MOTOYA NAKAMURA/The Oregonian The letter Madeline Higgins (left) wrote on a roll of shelf paper during World War II explains much about her life and times.
Bosch's New Pack 301 ID Flow Wrapper Enhances Shelf Life and Product Safety.
Hostess products are viewed on the shelf at a grocery store on January in Manhattan.
Could the Twinkie have a longer shelf life than the company that owns it.
As far as I know there is no specified life span for air bags, but they have demonstrated long shelf lives.
Hearts of Darkness, Shelf Life (review).
But what is the shelf life for these products.
Thermoformed 'pot' extends shelf life for soup.
'MEATING' A SOLUTION: Research Finds That LED Lights Extend Meat Shelf Life , Save Retailers Money.
LED lights in refrigeration units both save energy for meat retailers and extends the shelf life of some beef products.
He is the Ashley Davis-Heddy's Elf on a Shelf.
21 years of shelf life between discovery and description of new species.
Extend your professional shelf life by reducing burnout.
Milwaukee-based Kangaroo Brands is addressing the issue by converting new and existing products to sealed bags that help double shelf life and provide tamper evidence.

In science:

Our theory is such that this can be achieved, in numerous situations, by a simple combination of the Galerkin orthogonality condition and any of the “of the shelf ” results like the those from [2, 9] or [3, 8] in the singularly perturbed setting.
On Temple--Kato like inequalities and applications
This has been designed with a view to use in a full scale detector: it is highly modular, and is based on off the shelf hardware.
Next Generation CALICE Electromagnetic Calorimeter
In that case, similar bounds would hold, but the running time would be improved to O(mn log k) time.) Moreover, this algorithm scales up to matrices with thousands of rows and millions of columns, whereas existing off-the-shelf implementations of traditional QR algorithms may fail to run at all.
Randomized algorithms for matrices and data
Jain’s fairness index for both topologies is ∼99%. ing VLAN support in commodity off-the-shelf switches.
Jellyfish: Networking Data Centers Randomly
Given the recent availability of offthe-shelf microwave components up to 20 GHz, one of our goals was to process a large IF bandwidth without further explicit splitting and downconversion.
A 2-20 GHz Analog Lag-Correlator for Radio Interferometry