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Definition of Shaft


  1. The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow.
  2. 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.
  3. That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when cylindrical.
  4. The trunk, stem, or stalk of a plant.
  5. The stem or midrib of a feather.
  6. The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill.
  7. The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.
  8. The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc.
  9. A pole, especially a Maypole.
  10. 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.
  11. A column, an obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument.
  12. A rod at the end of a heddle.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. A well-like excavation in the earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and raising ore, for raising water, etc.
  16. A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air shaft.
  17. The chamber of a blast furnace.

Shaft Quotations

The skyscraper style first advocated by Louis Sullivan - a tower of strongly vertical character with clear definitions among base, shaft, and crown - has remained remarkably consistent throughout the history of this building type.
Martin Filler

I love watching Anthony Kim play, but I'm not a fan of the way he grips down a good two inches on his full-swing shots. Choking down lightens the club's swing weight and effectively makes the shaft stiffer. It also makes it difficult to hit the ball high enough for all situations.
Lee Trevino

We know a great deal about the configuration of the menorah from the biblical book of Exodus. Beaten out of solid gold, the ancient candelabrum boasted six branches emerging from a seventh, its central shaft. The menorah was adorned with golden buttons, cups, and flowers.
Meir Soloveichik

O! many a shaft, at random sent, Finds mark the archer little meant! And many a word, at random spoken, May soothe or wound a heart that's broken!
Walter Scott

In prosperous times, the marginal workers get by. But in tough times, they get the shaft.
Bill O'Reilly
More "Shaft" Quotations

Shaft Translations

shaft in Dutch is schacht, mijnschacht
shaft in French is hampe
shaft in German is Welle, Stiel, Schacht
shaft in Portuguese is eixo
shaft in Swedish is skaft, schakt
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