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From (plural of) shelf.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʃɛlv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlv


shelve (third-person singular simple present shelves, present participle shelving, simple past and past participle shelved)

  1. (transitive) to place on a shelf
    The library needs volunteers to help shelve books.
  2. (transitive) to set aside, quit, or halt
    They shelved the entire project when they heard how much it would cost.
  3. To furnish with shelves.
    to shelve a closet or a library
  4. (slang) To take (drugs) by anal or vaginal insertion.
    • 2002 June 4, Anthony Hodges, “Drugs seized by Customs (WARNING)”, in alt.anagrams, Usenet:
      I love shelving ecstasy!
    • 2011 June 19, “School daze”, in The New Zealand Herald:
      I had a funny conversation with my dad last night about shelving. It's when you shelve a pill up your bum. It was a lovely dinner conversation.
    • 2013, Edward J. Benavidez, Getting High: The Effects of Drugs, →ISBN, page 65:
      Some people use Ecstasy using a method known as “shafting” or “shelving” which involves inserting a pill or tablet into the anus.
    • 2016, John B. Saunders, ‎Noeline C. Latt, ‎& E. Jane Marshall, Addiction Medicine, →ISBN, page 44:
      Occasionally, they are taken anally ('shelving').
  5. (Wales, slang) To have sex with.
  6. (intransitive) To slope; to incline.




shelve (plural shelves)

  1. A rocky ledge or shelf.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, II.181:
      And all was stillness, save the sea-bird's cry, / And dolphin's leap, and little billow crossed / By some low rock or shelve, that made it fret / Against the boundary it scarcely wet.