Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of shaft
Meaning of shaft by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Old English sceaft, from Germanic Proto-Germanic *skaftaz. Cognate with Dutch schacht, German Schaft, Swedish skaft .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /ʃɑːft/
    • Rhymes: -ɑːft
    • ( US ) IPA: /ʃæft/


    shaft ( plural: shafts )

    1. The long narrow body of a spear or arrow
      Her hand slipped off the javelin's shaft towards the spearpoint and that's why her score was lowered, Sam .
    2. A beam or ray of light
      Isn't that shaft of light from that opening in the cave beautiful?
    3. 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 .
      Dude, the baseball bat's shaft got broken by the amazing pitch!
    4. The main axis of a feather
      I had no idea that they removed the feathers' shafts to make the pillows softer!
    5. ( lacrosse ) The long narrow body of a lacrosse stick
      Sarah, if you wear gloves your hands might not slip on your shaft and you can up your game, girl!
    6. A long narrow passage sunk into the earth, for mining etc; a mineshaft .
      Your grandfather used to work with a crane hauling ore out of the gold mine's shafts .
    7. A vertical or near-vertical cave passage .
    8. A vertical passage housing a lift or elevator; a liftshaft .
      Darn it, my keys fell through the gap and into the elevator shaft .
    9. A ventilation or heating conduit; an air duct .
      Our parrot flew into the air duct and got stuck in the shaft .
    10. A malicious act, as in “to give someone the shaft”
      That guy at work gave me the shaft, he ratted me out to the boss for being late!
    11. The main cylindrical part of the penis


    shaft ( third-person singular simple present shafts present participle shafting, simple past and past participle shafted )

    1. ( transitive ) to equip something with a shaft
    2. ( transitive, slang ) To have sexual intercourse with someone
      Turns out my best mate was shafting my girlfriend .
    3. ( transitive, slang ) To cause someone harm, especially in a deceitful or treacherous way .
      He got shafted when his boss took credit for what he had done .


Explanation of shaft by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. defeat someone through trickery or deceit

    2. equip with a shaft

    1. the hollow spine of a feather

    2. a revolving rod that transmits power or motion

    3. a long rod or pole ( especially the handle of an implement or the body of a weapon like a spear or arrow )

    4. a long vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for a mine or tunnel

    5. upright consisting of the vertical part of a column

    6. a vertical passageway through a building ( as for an elevator )

    7. a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon

    8. obscene terms for penis

    9. the main ( mid ) section of a long bone

    10. an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect

    11. she threw shafts of sarcasm
    12. a line that forms the length of an arrow pointer

    13. a column of light ( as from a beacon )

    Definition of shaft by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Shaft n. [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.]
      1. 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. Chaucer.

      A shaft hath three principal parts, the stele [stale], the feathers, and the head. Ascham.

      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”.

      And the thunder,

      Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,

      Perhaps hath spent his shafts. Milton.

      Some kinds of literary pursuits . . . have been attacked with all the shafts of ridicule. V. Knox.

      3. That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when cylindrical. Specifically: ( Bot. ) The trunk, stem, or stalk of a plant. ( Zool. ) The stem or midrib of a feather. See Illust. of Feather. The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill. The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.

      Thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold . . . his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. Ex. xxv. 31.

      The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc. A pole, especially a Maypole. [Obs.] Stow. ( Arch. ) 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. [Obs. or R.] Gwilt. A column, an obelisk, or other spire-shaped or columnar monument.

      Bid time and nature gently spare

      The shaft we raise to thee. Emerson.

      ( Weaving ) A rod at the end of a heddle. ( 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; as, “the shaft of a steam engine”. See Illust. of Countershaft.

      4. ( Zool. ) 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.

      5. [Cf. G. schacht.] ( Mining ) A well-like excavation in the earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and raising ore, for raising water, etc.

      6. A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air shaft.

      7. The chamber of a blast furnace.

      Line shaft ( Mach. ), a main shaft of considerable length, in a shop or factory, usually bearing a number of pulleys by which machines are driven, commonly by means of countershafts; -- called also line, or main line. -- Shaft alley ( Naut. ), a passage extending from the engine room to the stern, and containing the propeller shaft. -- Shaft furnace ( Metal. ), a furnace, in the form of a chimney, which is charged at the top and tapped at the bottom.