- shaft [shaft, shäft]n.[ME schaft < OE sceaft, akin to Ger schaft < IE base * (s)kap-, to cut with a sharp tool > SHAVE, Gr skapos, rod, L scapus, shaft, stalk]1.a) the long stem or body of an arrow or spearb) an arrow or spear2. a missile or something that seems to be hurled like a missile; bolt [shafts of lightning, derision, etc.]3. a cone or column of light; ray; beam4. a long, slender part or object; specif.,a) Rare the trunk of a tree or stem of a plantb) the stem or rib of a featherc) the midsection of a long boned) the supporting stem of a branched candlesticke) a column or obelisk; also, the main, usually cylindrical, part between the ends of a column or pillar; verge: see COLUMNf) a flagpoleg) a tall, slender building or part of a building; spireh) a handle, as on some tools or implementsi) either of the two poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle; thill: see HARNESSj) a bar, usually cylindrical, for supporting or transmitting motion to a wheel, pulley, gear, cam, etc. [the drive shaft of an engine]5. a long, narrow, vertical or slanting passage sunk into the earth [a mine shaft]6. a vertical opening passing through the floors of a building, as for an elevator7. a conduit for air, as used in heating and ventilatingvt.Slang to cheat, trick, exploit, etc.to cheat, trick, exploit, etc.——————get the shaftSlang to be cheated, tricked, etc.——————give someone the shaftSlang to cheat or trick someone
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.