Definition for SHAFT

SHAFT, n. [Sax. sceaft; D. and G. schaft; Sw. and Dan. skaft; L. scapus; from the root of shape, from setting, or shooting, extending.]

  1. An arrow; a missile weapon; as, the archer and the shaft. – More. So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow / With vigor drawn must send the shaft below. – Dryden.
  2. In mining, a pit or long narrow opening or entrance into a mine. [This may possibly be a different word, as in German it is written schacht, Dan. skægte.]
  3. In architecture, the shaft of a column is the body of it, between the base and the capital.
  4. Any thing straight; as, the shaft of a steeple and many other things. – Peacham.
  5. The stem or stock of a feather or quill.
  6. The pole of a carriage, sometimes called tongue or neap. The thills of a chaise or gig are also called shafts.
  7. The handle of a weapon. Shaft, or white-shaft, a species of Trochilus or hummingbird, having a bill twenty lines in length, and two long white feathers in the middle of its tail. – Encyc.

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