English dictionary

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English noun: shell

1. shell (artifact) ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun

Broader (hypernym)ammo, ammunition

Narrower (hyponym)artillery shell, shotgun shell, shrapnel, tank shell, whizbang, whizbang shell, whizzbang

2. shell (substance) the material that forms the hard outer covering of many animals

Broader (hypernym)animal material

Narrower (hyponym)mother-of-pearl, nacre

Substance meronymcarapace, cuticle, shell, shield

3. shell (animal) hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles

Synonymscarapace, cuticle, shield

Broader (hypernym)scute

Narrower (hyponym)cuticula

Part meronymarthropod, mollusc, mollusk, shellfish, turtle

Substance holonymshell

4. shell (plant) the hard usually fibrous outer layer of some fruits especially nuts

Broader (hypernym)hull

Narrower (hyponym)nutshell

5. shell (object) the exterior covering of a bird's egg


Broader (hypernym)cover, covering, natural covering

Part meronymegg, eggs

6. shell (object) a rigid covering that envelops an object

SamplesThe satellite is covered with a smooth shell of ice.

Broader (hypernym)cover, covering, natural covering

7. shell (artifact) a very light narrow racing boat

Synonymsracing shell

Broader (hypernym)racing boat

Narrower (hyponym)racing skiff, scull, single shell

Part holonymsliding seat

8. shell (artifact) the housing or outer covering of something

SamplesThe clock has a walnut case.

Synonymscase, casing

Broader (hypernym)housing

Narrower (hyponym)boot, gear box, gear case, gearbox, jacket

Part meronymgrandfather clock, longcase clock

9. shell (artifact) a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)

Synonymsplate, scale

Broader (hypernym)shield

Narrower (hyponym)armor plate, armor plating, armour plate, horseshoe, plate armor, plate armour, shell plating, shoe

10. shell (animal) the hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc or a brachiopod

Broader (hypernym)cover, covering, natural covering

Narrower (hyponym)clamshell, oyster shell, phragmacone, phragmocone, scallop shell, seashell, valve, valve

English verb: shell

1. shell (competition) use explosives on

SamplesThe enemy has been shelling us all day.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)bomb, bombard

Narrower (hyponym)crump

2. shell (creation) create by using explosives

SamplesBlast a passage through the mountain.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)create, make

3. shell (contact) fall out of the pod or husk

SamplesThe corn shelled.

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)emerge

4. shell (contact) hit the pitches of hard and regularly

SamplesHe shelled the pitcher for eight runs in the first inning.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)hit

5. shell (contact) look for and collect shells by the seashore

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)gather

6. shell (competition) come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

SamplesAgassi beat Becker in the tennis championship.
We beat the competition.
Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game.

Synonymsbeat, beat out, crush, trounce, vanquish

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)defeat, get the better of, overcome

Narrower (hyponym)bat, best, cheat, checkmate, chicane, chouse, clobber, cream, drub, eliminate, exceed, get over, get the best, get the jump, have the best, immobilise, immobilize, jockey, lick, master, mate, mop up, outdo, outdo, outfight, outflank, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outplay, outpoint, outscore, outstrip, overcome, overcome, overmaster, overpower, overwhelm, pip, rack up, rout, scoop, screw, shaft, spread-eagle, spreadeagle, subdue, surmount, surmount, surpass, thrash, trump, walk over, whip, whomp, worst


Verb groupbeat, circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach

7. shell (change) remove from its shell or outer covering

SamplesShell the legumes.
Shell mussels.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)remove, take, take away, withdraw

Narrower (hyponym)pod

8. shell (change) remove the husks from

SamplesHusk corn.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)remove, take, take away, withdraw

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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