shelf /ˈʃɛlf/ noun
plural shelves /ˈʃɛlvz/
plural shelves /ˈʃɛlvz/
Learner's definition of SHELF
: a flat board which is attached to a wall, frame, etc., and on which objects can be placed
see also bookshelf
geology : a flat area of rock, sand, etc., especially underwater see also continental shelf

off the shelf

: directly from a store without having to be specially made or ordered

on the shelf

: in an inactive state : not active or being used
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