Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: sciell

shell

1 noun
     
shell
Related topics: Biology, Weapons
shell1 W3 [countable]
1
a) the hard outer part that covers and protects an egg, nut, or seed:
Never buy eggs with cracked shells.
peanuts roasted in their shells
b) the hard protective covering of an animal such as a snail, mussel, or crab:
a snail shell
The children were collecting shells on the beach.
seashell
2PMW a metal container, like a large bullet, which is full of an explosive substance and is fired from a large gun:
We ran for cover as shells dropped all around us.
an exploding mortar shell
3 especially American EnglishPMW a metal tube containing a bullet and an explosive substance [= cartridge]
4 the outside structure of something, especially the part of a building that remains when the rest of it has been destroyed
shell of
the burnt-out shell of a nightclub
5

out of your shell

becoming less shy and more confident and willing to talk to people:
I had hoped that university would bring him out of his shell.
She's started to come out of her shell a little.

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