Etymology
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shell (n.)

Old English sciell, scill, Anglian scell "seashell, eggshell," related to Old English scealu "shell, husk," from Proto-Germanic *skaljo "piece cut off; shell; scale" (source also of West Frisian skyl "peel, rind," Middle Low German schelle "pod, rind, egg shell," Gothic skalja "tile"), with the shared notion of "covering that splits off," from PIE root *skel- (1) "to cut." Italian scaglia "chip" is from Germanic.

Sense of "mere exterior" is from 1650s; that of "hollow framework" is from 1791. Meaning "structure for a band or orchestra" is attested from 1938. Military use (1640s) was first of hand grenades, in reference to the metal case in which the gunpowder and shot were mixed; the notion is of a "hollow object" filled with explosives. Hence shell shock, first recorded 1915. Shell game "a swindle" is from 1890, from a version of three-card monte played with a pea and walnut shells.

shell (v.)

1560s, "to remove (a nut, etc.) from a shell," from shell (n.). The meaning "to bombard with shells" is first attested 1856. To shell out "disburse" (1801) is a figurative use from the image of extracting nuts. Related: Shelled; shelling.

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Definitions of shell
1
shell (n.)
ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun;
shell (n.)
the material that forms the hard outer covering of many animals;
shell (n.)
hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles;
Synonyms: carapace / cuticle / shield
shell (n.)
the hard usually fibrous outer layer of some fruits especially nuts;
shell (n.)
the exterior covering of a bird's egg;
Synonyms: eggshell
shell (n.)
a rigid covering that envelops an object;
the satellite is covered with a smooth shell of ice
shell (n.)
a very light narrow racing boat;
Synonyms: racing shell
shell (n.)
the housing or outer covering of something;
Synonyms: case / casing
shell (n.)
a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners);
Synonyms: plate / scale
shell (n.)
the hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc or a brachiopod;
2
shell (v.)
use explosives on;
The enemy has been shelling us all day
Synonyms: blast
shell (v.)
create by using explosives;
Synonyms: blast
shell (v.)
fall out of the pod or husk;
The corn shelled
shell (v.)
hit the pitches of hard and regularly;
He shelled the pitcher for eight runs in the first inning
shell (v.)
look for and collect shells by the seashore;
shell (v.)
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict;
Synonyms: beat / beat out / crush / trounce / vanquish
shell (v.)
remove from its shell or outer covering;
shell mussels
shell the legumes
shell (v.)
remove the husks from;
Synonyms: husk
From wordnet.princeton.edu