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Definition of shaft:

  1. A column, an obelisk, or other spire- shaped or columnar monument.
  2. 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.
  3. A long passage for the admission or outlet of air; an air shaft.
  4. A pole, especially a Maypole.
  5. A rod at the end of a heddle.
  6. 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.
  7. A well- like excavation in the earth, perpendicular or nearly so, made for reaching and raising ore, for raising water, etc.
  8. That which resembles in some degree the stem or handle of an arrow or a spear; a long, slender part, especially when cylindrical.
  9. 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.
  10. The chamber of a blast furnace.
  11. The handle or helve of certain tools, instruments, etc., as a hammer, a whip, etc.
  12. 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.
  13. The part of a candlestick which supports its branches.
  14. The pole, or tongue, of a vehicle; also, a thill.
  15. The slender, smooth stem of an arrow; hence, an arrow.
  16. The stem or midrib of a feather.
  17. The trunk, stem, or stalk of a plant.


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