Dictionary » S » Shell



1. A hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal. Specifically: The covering, or outside part, of a nut; as, a hazelnut shell.

A pod.

The hard covering of an egg. Think him as a serpent's egg, . . . And kill him in the shell.

(Science: mathematics) (Shak) Hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering.

2. A hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an explosive substance, ignited with a fuse or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and its fragments scattered. See bomb.

3. The case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms.

4. Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as, the shell of a house.

5. A coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one.

6. An instrument of music, as a lyre, the first lyre having been made, it is said, by drawing strings over a tortoise shell. When Jubal struck the chorded shell. (Dryden)

7. An engraved copper roller used in print works.

8. The husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is often used as a substitute for chocolate, cocoa, etc.

9. The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.

10. A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood or with paper; as, a racing shell. Message shell, a bombshell inside of which papers may be put, in order to convey messages. Shell bit, a tool shaped like a gouge, used with a brace in boring wood. See Bit. Shell button. A button made of shell. A hollow button made of two pieces, as of metal, one for the front and the other for the back, often covered with cloth, silk, etc. Shell cameo, a cameo cut in shell instead of stone. Shell flower.

(Science: botany) A kind of marl characterised by an abundance of shells, or fragments of shells. Shell meat, food consisting of shellfish, or testaceous mollusks. Shell mound. See Mound. Shell of a boiler, the exterior of a steam boiler, forming a case to contain the water and steam, often inclosing also flues and the furnace; the barrel of a cylindrical, or locomotive, boiler. Shell road, a road of which the surface or bed is made of shells, as oyster shells. Shell sand, minute fragments of shells constituting a considerable part of the seabeach in some places.

Origin: OE. Shelle, schelle, AS. Scell, scyll; akin to D. Shel, Icel. Skel, Goth. Skalja a tile, and E. Skill. Cf. Scale of fishes, Shale, Skill. The material that forms the hard outer covering of many animals.Hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles.The hard usually fibrous outer layer of some fruits especially nuts.The exterior covering of a bird's egg.The hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc.A type of exoskeleton present on some mammals that acts as a protective casing. The definition of a shell basically means any hard surface that covers the outer surface of an organism.

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Results from our forum

Please check my answers.

... A. Logging operations in a forest cut a single population of beetles in two so that they can no longer mix. B. Some snails in a population develop shells that twist to the right instead of the left, which makes mating impossible with partners of opposite shell shape. C. A newly constructed housing ...

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by moondisyko
Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:00 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Please check my answers.
Replies: 1
Views: 4191

Beetle identification

... beetle? I found it floating in our pool. it appears to have a proboscis and I thought I saw a thin white band along the edge of the front of its shell. thanks in advance for your help! :D

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by Greylan
Thu May 02, 2013 1:47 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Beetle identification
Replies: 1
Views: 2164


... then the crab is too dark. And more details. Well.. The crab are now a chili crab for sure.. But from the first and third image, the type of shell, not from the under parts, maybe people can tell something about this crab..

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by edbertp
Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:06 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Need details for this type of crab
Replies: 5
Views: 3545

Re: What sea creature is this?

Looks like a chiton. I think you're right. The "white ridges" are apparently the remains of the articulated shell plates that normally cover it. This one seems to correspond to photos of the "gumboot" chiton.

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by wernerpels
Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:59 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: What sea creature is this?
Replies: 4
Views: 3223

What sea creature is this?

I found this animal washed up on the beach. A hard top with protruding white shell-like ridges. A soft "foot". snailtop.jpg snailfoot.jpg

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by wernerpels
Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:38 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: What sea creature is this?
Replies: 4
Views: 3223
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