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  • noun
    plural shafts
    [count] :the long, narrow part of a weapon, tool, instrument, etc.
    the shaft of a spear
    the shaft of a golf club
    [count] :a bar in a machine which holds or turns other parts that move or spin
    a propeller shaft - see also driveshaft
    [count] :one of two poles between which a horse is tied to pull a vehicle (such as a carriage)
    [count] an opening or passage straight down through the floors of a building
    an air/elevator shaft
    an opening or passage in a mine
    a mine shaft
    [count] formal + literary :a narrow beam of light
    They stood in a shaft of sunlight.
    the shaft US informal :harsh or unfair treatment
    He got promoted and she got the shaft.
    shafts; shafted; shafting
    [+ obj] chiefly US informal :to treat (someone) unfairly or harshly