Definitions for: Shaft

[n] the hollow shaft of a feather
[n] a revolving rod that transmits power or motion
[n] a long rod or pole (especially the handle of an implement or the body of a weapon like a spear or arrow)
[n] a vertical passage into a mine
[n] upright consisting of the vertical part of a column
[n] a vertical passageway through a building (as for an elevator)
[n] a long pointed rod used as a weapon
[n] obscene terms for penis
[n] the main (mid) section of a long bone
[n] an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect; "his parting shot was `drop dead'"; "she threw shafts of sarcasm"; "she takes a dig at me every chance she gets"
[n] a line that forms the length of an arrow pointer
[n] a column of light (as from a beacon)
[v] defeat someone in an expectation through trickery or deceit

Webster (1913) Definition: Shaft, n. [OE. shaft, schaft, AS. sceaft; akin to D.
schacht, OHG. scaft, G. schaft, Dan. & Sw. skaft handle,
haft, Icel. skapt, and probably to L. scapus, Gr. ????, ????,
a staff. Probably originally, a shaven or smoothed rod. Cf.
Scape, Scepter, Shave.]
1. The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow.

His sleep, his meat, his drink, is him bereft, That
lean he wax, and dry as is a shaft. --Chaucer.

A shaft hath three principal parts, the stele
[stale], the feathers, and the head. --Ascham.

2. The long handle of a spear or similar weapon; hence, the
weapon itself; (Fig.) anything regarded as a shaft to be
thrown or darted; as, shafts of light.

And the thunder, Winged with red lightning and
impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts.

Some kinds of literary pursuits . . . have been
attacked with all the shafts of ridicule. --V. Knox.

3. That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of
an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when
cylindrical. Specifically: (a) (Bot.) The trunk, stem, or
stalk of a plant.
(b) (Zo["o]l.) The stem or midrib of a feather. See
Illust. of Feather.
(c) The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill.
(d) The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.

Thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold . . .
his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his
knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
--Ex. xxv. 31.
(e) The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments,
etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc.
(f) A pole, especially a Maypole. [Obs.] --Stow.
(g) (Arch.) The body of a column; the cylindrical pillar
between the capital and base (see Illust. of
Column). Also, the part of a chimney above the roof.
Also, the spire of a steeple. [Obs. or R.] --Gwilt.
(h) A column, an obelisk, or other spire-shaped or
columnar monument.

Bid time and nature gently spare The shaft we
raise to thee. --Emerson.
(i) (Weaving) A rod at the end of a heddle.
(j) (Mach.) A solid or hollow cylinder or bar, having one
or more journals on which it rests and revolves, and
intended to carry one or more wheels or other
revolving parts and to transmit power or motion; as,
the shaft of a steam engine. See Illust. of

4. (Zo["o]l.) A humming bird (Thaumastura cora) having two
of the tail feathers next to the middle ones very long in
the male; -- called also cora humming bird.

5. [Cf. G. schacht.] (Mining) A well-like excavation in the
earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and
raising ore, for raising water, etc.

6. A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air

7. The chamber of a blast furnace.

Line shaft (Mach.), a main shaft of considerable length, in
a shop or factory, usually bearing a number of pulleys by
which machines are driven, commonly by means of
countershafts; -- called also line, or main line.

Shaft alley (Naut.), a passage extending from the engine
room to the stern, and containing the propeller shaft.

Shaft furnace (Metal.), a furnace, in the form of a
chimney, which is charged at the top and tapped at the

Synonyms: barb, beam, beam of light, calamus, cheat, chicane, chouse, cock, diaphysis, dick, dig, gibe, irradiation, jibe, jockey, lance, light beam, pecker, peter, prick, quill, ray, ray of light, rotating shaft, screw, shaft of light, shot, slam, spear, tool

See Also: air shaft, air well, arbor, arm, arrow, assagai, assegai, axle, barb, beat, beat out, building, camshaft, column, comment, crankshaft, crush, downcast, driveshaft, edifice, elevator shaft, feather, heat ray, high beam, javelin, laser beam, light, line, long bone, low beam, mandrel, mandril, member, mine, moonbeam, moonray, os longum, passage, passageway, penis, phallus, pillar, plumage, plume, pointer, remark, rib, rod, rotating mechanism, shell, spearhead, spearpoint, spindle, sunbeam, sunray, thill, transmission shaft, trident, trounce, upright, vanquish, ventilation shaft, vertical, visible light, visible radiation, weapon, weapon system, well

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