|Language:||Middle Low German|
a long flat narrow board attached to a wall or in a frame or cupboard, used for putting things on
top/bottom/next etc shelf
Put it back on the top shelf.
shelves of books
the amount of shelf space available
a narrow surface of rock shaped like a shelf, especially under water ➔ continental shelf
available to be bought immediately, without having to be specially designed or ordered: ➔ off-the-peg
off-the-shelf software packages
if something is left on the shelf, it is not used or considered:
The album stayed on the shelf for several years, until it was finally released.
b) British English old-fashioned
to be considered too old to get married, used especially of women