Middle English schelle, from Old English (Anglian) scell 'eggshell, seashell', (South) sciell, sciel, from Proto-Germanic *skaljō (cf. West Frisian skyl (“peel, rind”), Dutch schil (“peel, skin, rink”), Low German Schell (“shell, scale”)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kel- (“to split, cleave”) (cf. Irish scelec (“pebble”), Latin silex (“pebble, flint”), siliqua (“pod”), Old Church Slavonic сколика (skolika, “shell”)). More at shale. Doublet of sheal.
shell (plural shells)
- The calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates.
- In some mollusks, as the cuttlefish, the shell is concealed by the animal's outer mantle and is considered internal.
- Genuine mother of pearl buttons are made from sea shells.
- The hard calcareous covering of a bird egg.
- (entomology) The exoskeleton or wing covers of certain insects.
- The covering, or outside part, of a nut.
- The black walnut and the hickory nut, both of the same Genus as the pecan, have much thicker and harder shells than the pecan.
- A pod containing the seeds of certain plants, such as the legume Phaseolus vulgaris.
- plural Husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is sometimes used as a substitute or adulterant for cocoa and its products such as chocolate.
- The conjoined scutes that comprise the "shell" (carapace) of a tortoise or turtle.
- The overlapping hard plates comprising the armor covering the armadillo's body.
- The accreted mineral formed around a hollow geode.
- The casing of a self-contained single-unit artillery projectile.
- A hollow usually spherical or cylindrical projectile fired from a siege mortar or a smoothbore cannon. It contains an explosive substance designed to be ignited by a fuse or by percussion at the target site so that it will burst and scattered at high velocity its contents and fragments. Formerly called a bomb.
- The cartridge of a breechloading firearm; a load; a bullet; a round.
- Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in, as the shell of a house.
- A garment, usually worn by women, such as a shirt, blouse, or top, with short sleeves or no sleeves, that often fastens in the rear.
- A coarse or flimsy coffin; a thin interior coffin enclosed within a more substantial one.
- (music) A string instrument, as a lyre, whose acoustical chamber is formed like a shell.
- The first lyre may have been made by drawing strings over the underside of a tortoise shell.
- (music) The body of a drum; the often wooden, often cylindrical acoustic chamber, with or without rims added for tuning and for attaching the drum head.
- An engraved copper roller used in print works.
- (nautical) The watertight outer covering of the hull of a vessel, often made with planking or metal plating.
- (nautical, rigging) The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.
- (nautical) A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood, impermeable fabric, or water-proofed paper; a racing shell or dragon boat.
- (computing) An operating system software user interface, whose primary purpose is to launch other programs and control their interactions; the user's command interpreter.
- The name shell originates from it being viewed as an outer layer of interface between the user and the internals of the operating system.
- The name "Bash" is an acronym which stands for "Bourne-again shell", itself a pun on the name of the "Bourne shell", an earlier Unix shell designed by Stephen Bourne, and the Christian concept of being "born again".
- (chemistry) A set of atomic orbitals that have the same principal quantum number.
- An emaciated person.
- He's lost so much weight from illness; he's a shell of his former self.
- A psychological barrier to social interaction.
- Even after months of therapy he's still in his shell.
- (business) A legal entity that has no operations.
- A shell corporation was formed to acquire the old factory.
Derived terms 
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
A shell corporation was formed to acquire the old factory.
- To remove the outer covering or shell of something. See sheller.
- To bombard, to fire projectiles at.
- (informal) To disburse or give up money, to pay. (Often used with out).
- (intransitive) To fall off, as a shell, crust, etc.
- (intransitive) To cast the shell, or exterior covering; to fall out of the pod or husk.
- Nuts shell in falling.
- Wheat or rye shells in reaping.
Derived terms 
- shell in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- shell in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- Shell on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons