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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, or the driveshaft of a motorized vehicle with rear-wheel drive.
    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 narrow part of the penis
  12. axle
  13. drive shaft


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
  3. (transitive, slang) To engage in a malicious act; to rip off, as in "He got shafted."


abysm, abyss, adit, air duct, air hole, air passage, air shaft, air tube, airway, antenna tower, arch, arrow, arrowhead, baluster, balustrade, banister, bank, barb, barbican, barbule, barrel, barrow, base, beam, belfry, bell tower, blowhole, bobtailed arrow, bolt, boundary stone, brass, breathing hole, bust, cairn, campanile, caryatid, cavity, cenotaph, chasm, chested arrow, cilium, cloth yard shaft, coal mine, colliery, colonnade, colossus, column, crater, crevasse, cromlech, cross, cup, cupola, cut, cyclolith, dado, dart, deep, depth, derrick, die, dig, diggings, dolmen, dome, duct, excavation, filament, filamentule, fire tower, flight, flue, footstalk, footstone, gibe, gleam, gold mine, grave, gravestone, gulf, handle, headstone, helve, hoarstone, hole, hollow, inscription, jab, jack, jibe, knock, lantern, lighthouse, louver, louverwork, marker, martello, martello tower, mast, mausoleum, megalith, memento, memorial, memorial arch, memorial column, memorial statue, memorial stone, menhir, minaret, mine, monolith, monument, mound, naris, necrology, newel-post, nostril, obelisk, obituary, observation tower, open cut, opencast, pagoda, pedestal, pedicel, peduncle, pencil, pier, pilaster, pile, piling, pillar, pinnacle, pit, plaque, plinth, pole, post, potshot, prize, put-down, pylon, pyramid, quarrel, quarry, queen-post, quill, ray, reed, reliquary, remembrance, ribbon, rod, rostral column, screw, screwing, shank, shoot, shrine, skyscraper, socle, spilehole, spiracle, spire, staff, stalk, stanchion, stand, standard, standpipe, steeple, stela, stem, stick, sting, stone, streak, stupa, subbase, surbase, tablet, television mast, testimonial, thrust, tomb, tombstone, tope, touchhole, tour, tower, transom, trophy, trunk, tunnel, turret, upright, vent, ventage, venthole, ventiduct, ventilating shaft, ventilator, volley, water tower, well, wind tunnel, windmill tower, workings, yawning abyss


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


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



The translations below need to be checked.