—shell-less, adj. —shell-like, adj./shel/, n.1. a hard outer covering of an animal, as the hard case of a mollusk, or either half of the case of a bivalve mollusk.2. any of various objects resembling such a covering, as in shape or in being more or less concave or hollow.3. the material constituting any of various coverings of this kind.4. the hard exterior of an egg.5. the usually hard, outer covering of a seed, fruit, or the like, as the hard outside portion of a nut, the pod of peas, etc.6. a hard, protecting or enclosing case or cover.7. an attitude or manner of reserve that usually conceals one's emotions, thoughts, etc.: One could not penetrate his shell.8. a hollow projectile for a cannon, mortar, etc., filled with an explosive charge designed to explode during flight, upon impact, or after penetration.9. a metallic cartridge used in small arms and small artillery pieces.10. a metal or paper cartridge, as for use in a shotgun.11. a cartridgelike pyrotechnic device that explodes in the air.12. shells, Italian Cookery. small pieces of pasta having the shape of a shell.13. the lower pastry crust of a pie, tart, or the like, baked before the filling is added.14. Computers. a program providing a menu-driven or graphical user interface designed to simplify use of the operating system, as in loading application programs.15. Physics.a. any of up to seven energy levels on which an electron may exist within an atom, the energies of the electrons on the same level being equal and on different levels being unequal.b. a group of nucleons of approximately the same energy.16. a light, long, narrow racing boat, for rowing by one or more persons.17. the outer part of a finished garment that has a lining, esp. a detachable lining.18. a woman's sleeveless blouse or sweater, esp. one meant for wear under a suit jacket.19. Naut. the plating, planking, or the like, covering the ribs and forming the exterior hull of a vessel.20. See tortoise shell (def. 1).21. a mollusk.22. Engineering. the curved solid forming a dome or vault.23. an arena or stadium covered by a domed or arched roof.24. a saucer-shaped arena or stadium.25. the framework, external structure, or walls and roof of a building: After the fire, only the shell of the school was left.26. a small glass for beer.27. the metal, pressure-resistant outer casing of a fire-tube boiler.28. Metall.a. a scab on the surface of an ingot.b. a length of unfinished tubing.c. a pierced forging.d. a hollow object made by deep drawing.v.t.29. to take out of the shell, pod, etc.; remove the shell of.31. to fire shells or explosive projectiles into, upon, or among; bombard.v.i.32. to fall or come out of the shell, husk, etc.33. to come away or fall off, as a shell or outer coat.34. to gather sea shells: We spent the whole morning shelling while the tide was out.[bef. 900; (n.) ME; OE scell (north), sciell; c. D schil peel, skin, rink, ON skel shell, Goth skalja tile; (v.) deriv. of the n.; cf. SHALE]
* * *Artillery projectile, cartridge case, or shotgun cartridge.It originated in the 15th century as a container for metal or stone shot, dispersed when the container burst after leaving the gun. Explosive shells, in use by the 16th century, were hollow cast-iron balls filled with gunpowder and lit by a fuse. Until the 18th century, such shells were used only in high-angle fire (including mortars). In the 19th century, shells were adopted for direct-fire artillery, notably in the form of shrapnel. Modern artillery shells consist of a casing (usually steel), a propelling charge, and a bursting charge; the propelling charge is ignited by a primer at the base of the shell and the bursting charge by a fuse in the nose. In rifle, pistol, and machine-gun ammunition, the word usually signifies the brass casing that contains the propulsive charge. In shotgun ammunition, the shell is the entire cartridge, including shot, powder, primer, and case.
* * *variously, an artillery projectile, a cartridge case, or a shotgun cartridge. The artillery shell was in use by the 15th century, at first as a simple container for metal or stone shot, which was dispersed by the bursting of the container after leaving the gun. Explosive shells came into use in the 16th century or perhaps even earlier. These were hollow cast-iron balls filled with gunpowder and called bombs. A crude fuse was employed, consisting of a short tube, filled with a slow-burning powder, driven into a hole through the wall of the bomb. Until the 18th century such shells were used only in high-angle fire (e.g., in mortars) and confined almost entirely to land warfare. In the 19th century, shells were adopted for direct-fire artillery, notably in the form of shrapnel (q.v.).Modern high-explosive artillery shells consist of a shell casing, a propelling charge, and a bursting charge; the propelling charge is ignited by a primer at the base of the shell, and the bursting charge by a fuse in the nose. An armour-piercing shell has a hollow pointed nose to act as windshield and a heavy, blunt armour-piercing cap and steel core, with the bursting charge located in the base of the projectile. In some high-velocity types, a tungsten carbide core is used. Steel has generally supplanted brass for cartridge cases.In rifle, pistol, and machine-gun ammunition, the word shell usually signifies the casing, ordinarily of brass, that contains the propulsive charge and in which the bullet is seated at the neck, with the primer in an open cup at the opposite end. In shotgun ammunition, however, the shell is the entire cartridge, including shot, powder, primer, and case. The case is usually of paper or plastic fitted into a brass base that contains the primer cup. See also ammunition.
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