- noun a layer of rock or ice which juts out
- noun a horizontal flat surface attached to a wall or in a cupboard on which items for sale are displayed
- Any horizontally mounted board, slab, or other flat-surfaced device upon which objects can be stored, supported, or displayed.
Information & Library Science
- noun a horizontal piece of wood or metal attached to a wall, or in a bookcase or cupboard
Origin & History of “shelf”
Shelf appears to have been borrowed from middle Low German schelf ‘shelf’. this may have come from the Germanic base *skelf- ‘split’, which also produced Old English scylfe ‘partition’, the word’s underlying meaning therefore being a ‘piece of split wood used for standing things on’. The derivative shelve dates from the 16th century.