From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- The goddess of love, Venus or Aphrodite is often traditionally depicted rising from the sea on a seashell. In the Birth of Venus (Botticelli), Botticelli depicted the goddess Venus rising from the ocean on a scallop shell.
- A hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal:
- The covering, or outside part, of a nut; as, a hazelnut shell.
- A pod.
- The hard covering of an egg.
- The hard calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates. In some mollusks, as the cuttlefishes, it is internal, or concealed by the mantle. Also, the hard covering of some vertebrates, as the armadillo, the tortoise, and the like.
- The husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is often used as a substitute for chocolate, cocoa, etc.
- Hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering.
- (plural: shell) An artillery projectile or charge case:
- A hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an explosive substance, ignited with a fuze or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and its fragments scattered. See Bomb.
- The case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms.
- Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as, the shell of a house.
- (garment) A top, usually worn by women, with short or no sleeves that fastens, if it does, in the rear.
- A coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one.