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shaft  (shft)
a. The long narrow stem or body of a spear or arrow.
b. A spear or arrow.
a. A projectile suggestive of a spear or arrow in appearance or configuration.
b. Informal A scornfully satirical comment; a barb.
c. Slang Harsh, unfair treatment. Often used with the: The president of the airline really gave the unions the shaft.
3. A ray or beam of light.
4. A long thin object or part, as:
a. The handle of any of various tools or implements.
b. One of two parallel poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle.
c. A long, generally cylindrical bar that rotates and transmits power, as the drive shaft of an engine.
5. Zoology The main axis of a feather, especially its distal portion.
6. Anatomy
a. The midsection of a long bone; the diaphysis.
b. The section of a hair projecting from the surface of the body.
7. Architecture
a. A column or obelisk.
b. The principal portion of a column, between the capital and the base.
8. A long, narrow, often vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for mining ore; a tunnel.
9. A vertical passage housing an elevator.
10. A duct or conduit for the passage of air, as for ventilation or heating.
tr.v. shaft·ed, shaft·ing, shafts
1. To equip with a shaft.
2. Slang To treat in a harsh, unfair way: He had been shafted by the press quite a bit (Frank Deford).

[Middle English, from Old English sceaft.]

shaft  /ft/  n. 1 a round, metal bar that turns, giving power in a long section of machinery: the drive shaft of a truck 2 the stem of a plant: a shaft of wheat 3 a hollow tube or tunnel: a mine shaft 4 a ray of light: a shaft of sunlight 5 n.v.vulg. [T] to give s.o. the shaft: to cheat or ignore s.o.: You gave him the <n.> shaft when you promised to meet him at 10:00 and never showed up.||His boss <v.> shafted him when she gave a raise to everyone but him. shaft

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