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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun shaft:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb shaft:

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Definition of the noun shaft

What does shaft mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: shafts

  1. a line that forms the length of an arrow pointer
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic word: line = a mark that is long relative to its width
    • part of: arrow / pointer = a mark to indicate a direction or relation
  2. an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect
    • example: she threw shafts of sarcasm
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of shaft: barb / dig / gibe / jibe / shot / slam
    • more generic words: comment / input / remark = a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
    • more specific term: cheap shot = an unnecessarily aggressive and unfair remark directed at a defenseless person
  3. a long rod or pole (especially the handle of an implement or the body of a weapon like a spear or arrow)
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: rod = a long thin implement made of metal or wood
    • more specific words:
      • axle = a shaft on which a wheel rotates
      • thill = one of two shafts extending from the body of a cart or carriage on either side of the animal that pulls it
  4. a column of light (as from a beacon)
  5. the main (mid) section of a long bone
    • lexical domain: Body Parts - nouns denoting body parts
    • synonym of shaft: diaphysis
    • more generic terms: long bone / os longum = in limbs of vertebrate animals: a long cylindrical bone that contains marrow
  6. obscene terms for penis
  7. a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonyms of shaft: lance / spear
    • more generic terms: arm / weapon / weapon system = any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
    • more specific words:
      • assagai / assegai = the slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africa
      • javelin = a spear thrown as a weapon or in competitive field events
      • trident = a spear with three prongs
    • parts:
      • barb = a subsidiary point facing opposite from the main point that makes an arrowhead or spear hard to remove
      • spear-point / spearpoint / spearhead = the head and sharpened point of a spear
  8. a vertical passageway through a building (as for an elevator)
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: passageway = a passage between rooms or between buildings
    • more specific terms:
      • elevator shaft = a vertical shaft in a building to permit the passage of an elevator from floor to floor
      • ventilation shaft = a shaft in a building
      • well = an open shaft through the floors of a building
    • part of: building / edifice = a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place
  9. (architecture) upright consisting of the vertical part of a column
    • domain: architecture
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of shaft: scape
    • more generic words: upright / vertical = a vertical structural member as a post or stake
    • part of: column / pillar = a tall vertical cylindrical structure standing upright and used to support a structure
  10. a long vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for a mine or tunnel
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: passage = a way through or along which someone or something may pass
    • more specific terms:
    • part of: mine = excavation in the earth from which ores and minerals are extracted; tunnel = a passageway through or under something, usually underground
  11. a revolving rod that transmits power or motion
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of shaft: rotating shaft
    • more generic word: rod = a long thin implement made of metal or wood
    • more specific terms:
      • camshaft = an engine shaft with cams attached to it
      • crankshaft = a rotating shaft driven by (or driving) a crank
      • driveshaft = a rotating shaft that transmits power from the engine to the point of application
      • mandrel / mandril / spindle / arbor = any of various rotating shafts that serve as axes for larger rotating parts
      • transmission shaft = rotating shaft that transmits rotary motion from the engine to the differential
    • part of: rotating mechanism = a mechanism that rotates
  12. the hollow spine of a feather
    • lexical domain: Animals - nouns denoting animals
    • synonyms of shaft: calamus / quill
    • more generic word: rib = a riblike supporting or strengthening part of an animal or plant
    • part of: feather / plumage / plume = the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds

Alternative definition of the noun shaft


  1. The long narrow body of a spear or arrow
  2. A beam or ray of light
  3. Any long thin object, such as the handle of a tool, one of the poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle, or the driveshaft of a motorized vehicle with rear-wheel drive.
  4. The main axis of a feather
  5. [lacrosse] The long narrow body of a lacrosse stick
  6. A long narrow passage sunk into the earth, for mining etc; a mineshaft.
  7. A vertical or near-vertical cave passage.
  8. A vertical passage housing a lift or elevator; a liftshaft.
  9. A ventilation or heating conduit; an air duct.
  10. A malicious act, as in “to give someone the shaft”
  11. The main narrow part of the penis
  12. See axle.
  13. drive shaft

Specialised definition of the noun shaft

Glossary of sports / canoeing

the narrow part of the paddle, above the blade, encompassing the grip

Glossary of sports / darts

the plastic or metal part of the dart that screws into the barrel and holds the flight (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

the part of the dart behind the barrel that holds the flight

Glossary of sports / golf

the stick joined to the clubhead; modern shafts are made from steel or graphite and can have different stiffnesses; older shafts were made from hickory (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

the part of the club, including the grip, that is joined to the head

Definition of the verb shaft

What does shaft mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: shafted | shafting | shafts

  1. equip with a shaft
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • more generic terms: equip / fit / fit out / outfit = provide with (something) usually for a specific purpose
  2. defeat someone through trickery or deceit

Alternative definition of the verb shaft


  1. [transitive] to equip something with a shaft
  2. [transitive, slang] To have sexual intercourse with someone
  3. [transitive, slang] To engage in a malicious act; to rip off, as in "He got shafted."


  1. "Shaft" is a 2000 American action-crime film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Pat Hingle, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. Williams, and Mekhi Phifer. This film is not a remake of the 1971 film of the same name, but rather a sequel. Jackson's John Shaft character is the nephew of the original John Shaft. The film received mainly positive reviews and opened at the number one position at the box office when it debuted June 16, 2000.
  2. "Shaft" is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a private detective, John Shaft, who travels through Harlem and to the Italian mob neighborhoods in order to find the missing daughter of a mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Drew Bundini Brown as Willy, Charles Cioffi as Lt. Vic Androzzi, Christopher St. John as Ben Buford, and Gwenn Mitchell and Lawrence Pressman in smaller roles. The movie was adapted by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black from Tidyman's 1970 novel of the same name.
  3. Shaft is a series of TV movies that aired along with Hawkins and other TV movies during 1973-74 television season on The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. Broadcast every third week, the series was based on the three films beginning with Shaft, and starring Richard Roundtree as private detective John Shaft.
    • begun on and completed on (40 years ago)
    • 7 episodes of 75 or 90 minutes each
    • country: United States of America
    • regular cast: Richard Roundtree
    • genres: Crime Fiction, Action, Crime, Drama


"Shaft" is a novel written by Ernest Tidyman.

  • language: English Language
  • subjects: Film, Cinema, Organised crime
  • released in (45 years ago)


  1. Shaft a.k.a. Cameron Mitchell: Colonel Cameron "Cam" Mitchell, USAF is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate SG-1, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices. Played by Ben Browder, Cameron Mitchell is introduced as a main character in the season 9 premiere "Avalon", holding the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. Learning of the SG-1 team's off-screen separation after the previous season, Mitchell is assigned as new commanding officer of SG-1, which he remains throughout season 10 and the direct-to-DVD films Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum.
  2. Shaft is a comic book superhero created by writer-artist Rob Liefeld. In the early Nineties, Liefeld created the character for his Extreme Studios as leader of superhero team “Youngblood”.
  3. Shaft is a Marvel Comics character and pupil of the blind warrior Stick, former mentor of costumed crime-fighter Daredevil and pro assassin Elektra Natchios. He is a highly trained ninja and a member of good ninja cell the Chaste. He fights with fellow Chaste warriors Stone and Claw, occasionally assisted by Daredevil and Elektra, against the evil forces of the Hand.

There are other characters with in their name, like John Shaft and Broomhilda von Shaft.


"Shaft" is an artwork by Guy Warren.


  1. "Shaft" is a double album by Isaac Hayes, recorded for Stax Records' Enterprise label as the soundtrack LP for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1971 Soul Cinema Classic film Shaft. The album mostly consists of instrumentals composed by Hayes as score for the film. Three vocal selections are included: "Soulsville", "Do Your Thing", and "Theme from Shaft". A commercial and critical success, Shaft is Hayes' best-known work and the best-selling LP ever released on a Stax label.
    • also known as Shaft Soundtrack, Shaft: Expanded Edition, Shaft Anthology: His Big Score and More!
    • genres: Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Funk
    • released in (44 years ago)
    • award:
      • Grammy Award for Album of the Year nomination for Isaac Hayes
      • Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media nomination for Isaac Hayes
      • Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Composer), received by Isaac Hayes
  2. "Shaft" a.k.a. "Theme from Shaft": "Theme from Shaft," written and recorded by Isaac Hayes in 1971, is the soul and funk-styled theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, Shaft. The theme was released as a single two months after the movie's soundtrack by Stax Records' Enterprise label. "Theme from Shaft" went to number two on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in November 1971. The song was also well received by adult audiences, reaching number six on Billboard's Easy Listening chart.
  3. "Shaft" is a musical album of Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.
    • released in (42 years ago)
  4. "Shaft" is a musical album of David Arnold.
  5. "Shaft" is a musical album of Soul Mann & The Brothers.
    • released in (44 years ago)
  6. "Shaft" is a musical single of Isaac Hayes & Jean Knight.
  7. "Shaft" is a musical album of Surrent.
    • released on (5 years ago)


  1. Shaft were a British electronic music production duo, known for their covers and remixes of " Sway" and "Mambo Italiano". Shaft peaked at No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart with their release of " Sway". They followed this with the release of "Mambo Italiano" which reached 12 in the UK chart. They went on to tour the world and win a gold disc for best performing group. Since then, they have recorded more songs such as "Kiri Riri Boom" and "Shake Seniora".
  2. Shaft is the now long-standing vehicle of prominent songwriter Robert Cardy, original guitarist for legendary band The AXEMEN and a stalwart of the New Zealand underground scene. When the AXEMEN took a break in 1992, Cardy was jamming with AXEMEN drummer Stu Kawowski for a while, and one day bumped into guitarist John Segovia at a gas station. Soon after Daniel "Speedy" Mañetto came on board as bass player. This original line up stayed together for around a year or two, and then one by one Segovia, Mañetto and Kawowski departed. Cardy then put together a more hard-edged version of Shaft with Tony Rush and Rich Mixture, with former Axel Grinders guitarist John Segovia joining soon after. Since that time the lineup has changed considerably, with many members coming and going. The current lineup includes Cardy as well as all members of The Situations; Glen Casey, Brad Walkington, Samuel Kett and Stuart Kett.
  3. Shaft is a musical group.

There are other groups with in their name, like Jane. vs. Shaft.


Shaft, Inc. is a Japanese animation studio founded on September 1, 1975 by Hiroshi Wakao. They are best known for their unique use of gags, references, and avant garde cinematography notably in Pani Poni Dash!, Maria Holic, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, Hidamari Sketch, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Bakemonogatari series.


Shaft Rock Blues and Jazz Club is a blues and rock club in Istanbul, Turkey. Besides providing blues and jazz music which gives the place its name, it additionally offers a combination of rock music covers by famous Turkish musicians and a weekly free stage night for newcomer musicians. Its late night drinking and disco style entertainment is one of the few on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.


  1. The shaft of a golf club is the long, tapered tube which connects the golfer’s hands to the club head. While hundreds of different designs exist, the primary purpose of the golf shaft remains the same - to provide the player with a way to generate centrifugal force in order to effectively strike the ball. When properly gripped the player can hit the ball further and more accurately, whilst applying less force.
    • also known as golf club shaft
  2. Shaft: In civil engineering a shaft is an underground vertical or inclined passageway.
  3. Shaft was a UK based dance music act from Ilford, East London, that scored a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart in December 1991, with a rave track, "Roobarb and Custard". It featured vocal samples from the vintage children's television cartoon Roobarb, as well as a variety of sound effects. The main contributor was the British record producers, Mark Pritchard and Adrian Ribble.
  4. Shaft is an action film series.
  5. SHAFT is an acronym that stands for "Secular, Humanists, Atheists, and Free Thinkers". There are at least three campus-based organizations in the U.S.

Phrases with Shaft

Phrases starting with the word Shaft:

  1. Shaft bow
  2. shaft louse
  3. shaft of light
  4. Shaft-Tailed Whydah

Phrases ending with the word Shaft:

  1. air shaft
  2. butt shaft
  3. Line shaft
  4. rotor shaft
  5. elevator shaft
  6. rotating shaft
  7. Propeller Shaft
  8. ventilation shaft
  9. transmission shaft

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Shaft

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewMineral Resources Review (1915)

by South Australia. Mines Dept

and three chains distant from the old main shaft is the present main shaft. This is a 10ft.

Google previewEurope Central (2005)

by William T Vollmann

Eagle's Nest is reached first by way of a winding mountain road, which conveys the accolyte to the bronze portal, then by a dripping marble corridor through the rock, and finally by a brass elevator up into the heights; the shaft is a hundred and ...

Google previewTesting for Learning (2010)

by Ruth Mitchell

The shaft is a dowel; the beam is ...

Google previewDyke's automobile and gasoline engine encyclopedia (1927)

by Andrew Lee Dyke

Transmission gear shifter shaft hearing (left). Transmission ease. Tire pump. Transmission case cover. Transmission case cover oil filler plug. Transmission driving shaft rear bearing housing cover. Universal Joint inside casing. Universal joint ...

Google previewA New Medical Dictionary (1890)

by George Milbry Gould

Flexor lon gu s Shaft. of tibia. Last phalanges of Post. tihlal. Flexes phalanges digitorum. toes. and extends toes. Flexor io n gu 5 Shaft of radius. Last phalanx of Ant. interoueus. Flues the phalanx. poilicis. thumb. Flexor longus polllcts.

Google previewThe New Universal English Dictionary ... To which is added, a dictionary of cant words ... The fourth edition, carefully corrected by Mr. Buchanan, etc (1760)

by Nathan BAILEY

Gemina'cd COLUMN, a column whose shaft is formed os three similarand equal tides or ribs os stone, fitted within one another, and fastened at the bottom with iron pins, and at the top with cramp-irons. COLUMN gf Major/ry, is made of rough ...

Google previewPansegrouw's Crossword Dictionary (1994)

by Louisa Pansegrouw

vague shady cool, dim, disreputable, dubious, leafy, shadowy, suspicious, umbrageous, unethical shady dell dingle shady gum tree coolabah shady retreat alcove, bower shaft arrow, axle, beam, dart, duct, excavation, flagpole, flue, handle, ...

Google previewEncyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology (2013)

by Barbara Ann Kipfer

shaft–and–chamber tomb: A tombin which the burials are laid inaside chamber opening from the bottomof apit. shaft grave: A gravein whichtheburial chamber was reached by avertical shaft,the burials ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Shaft

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Photos about Shaft

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View more pictures about Air Shaft, elevator shaft, and Shaft of Light.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Shaft for a mega yacht in the factorySmall photo of Elevator Elevator doors ShaftSmall photo of Elevator Elevator doors ShaftSmall photo of Shaft shaft, gear after machining on the lathe and CNC milling machine lies on a wooden rack in the shop.Small photo of Elevator Elevator doors ShaftSmall photo of Elevator Elevator doors ShaftSmall photo of Elevator Elevator doors Shaft More...

Videos about Shaft

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View more videos about Air Shaft, Shaft bow, and Line shaft.

See also the pronunciation examples of Shaft!

Quotes about Shaft

The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction. (Aesop)
more quotes about shaft...

Scrabble value of S1H4A1F4T1

The value of this 5-letter word is 11 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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