- shell1 W3 [ʃel] n[: Old English; Origin: sciell]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▪ a snail shell▪ The children were collecting shells on the beach.→↑seashell2.) 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 shell3.) especially AmE a metal tube containing a bullet and an explosive substance= ↑cartridge4.) the outside structure of something, especially the part of a building that remains when the rest of it has been destroyedshell of▪ the burnt-out shell of a nightclub5.) out of your shellbecoming 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.shell 2shell2 v [T]1.) to fire shells from large guns at something▪ The army has been shelling the town since yesterday.2.) to remove something such as beans or nuts from a shell or ↑pod▪ Josie was shelling peas in the kitchen.shell out () [shell out (sth)] phr vto pay a lot of money for something, especially unwillingly▪ If you want the repairs done right, you'll have to shell out at least $800.shell out (something) for▪ She ended up shelling out for two rooms.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.