Definition of eggshell in US English:



  • 1The thin, hard outer layer of an egg, especially a hen's egg.

    • ‘She is doing a science project on the calcium content of eggshells and wishes to include the shells of wild birds in her study.’
    • ‘Then it is filled with refuse: eggshells and gnawed corncobs, celery tops, an orange peel, empty cartons.’
    • ‘The team carried out meticulous studies of the birds' eggshells to show that speckled areas of shells are significantly thinner than unpigmented patches.’
    • ‘It didn't kill birds directly, but it did affect their internal calcium gradients so that all eggshells were too thin and collapsed when the parents incubated them.’
    • ‘After leaving the kitchen table strewn with cracked eggshells and dyes, Hannah didn't want to go to church.’
    • ‘A unique addition are one-of-a-kind mosaics made of painted eggshells placed on small wooden boxes, created by Kansas artist Sherri Lindsay.’
    • ‘Each eggshell weighs 14.6 g on average and penguin eggshells contain 36% calcium.’
    • ‘The bag split when it landed and Jeffrey was covered with empty cans, sour milk, rotten apple cores, spaghetti sauce, and to top it all off, he had a banana peel and an eggshell on his head like a cherry on top of a sundae.’
    • ‘The students from North Mayo used 1,869 eggshells making their costume ‘Eggcentric’, which were collected from households across the region.’
    • ‘She pointed out the lettuce and red and white onions, which had been put in earlier in the year, and explained that the broken eggshells on the soil were an attempt to stop slugs from eating her crop.’
    • ‘The cause of eggshell thinning is likewise poorly understood.’
    • ‘Calcium makes up slightly more than one-third of the average penguin eggshell.’
    • ‘More conventionally, a sharp barrier such as gravel or crushed seashells or eggshells sprinkled around plants will stop slugs and snails in their tracks.’
    • ‘Adults eat the eggshells after the chicks hatch (the eggshells are a good source of calcium).’
    • ‘Although pieces of eggshells were collected by Standhardt from the Late Cretaceous deposits in Big Bend, no complete eggs or nests have been found in the area.’
    • ‘But right now, the accumulation of broken eggshells is a trifle messy!’
    • ‘Under the theme, ‘Art from waste’, handicrafts made of discarded papers, clothes, straw, eggshells, thread and beads, were some of the exhibits that were eye-catching.’
    • ‘If the hatchlings ingest bits of eggshell or bury themselves in soil containing ice crystals, they will freeze at relatively high temperatures and survive only if subsequent temperatures do not go too low.’
    • ‘‘The stress translates into thinner eggshells, causing more losses because of their fragility,’ explains Robertson.’
    • ‘Her body, covered in eggs and eggshells, tomatoes and banana skins, beer and saliva, trembles as it settles, like an engine cooling.’
    1. 1.1 Used in similes and metaphors to refer to the fragile nature of something.
      ‘the truck would crush his car like an eggshell’
    2. 1.2 An oil-based paint that dries with a slight sheen.
      ‘the woodwork was painted in eggshell’
      as modifier ‘an eggshell finish’
      • ‘If you prefer a less-glossy finish on woodwork, eggshell or satin may be used there as well.’
      • ‘Keeping the edge wet is most important for gloss and eggshell, as is smoothing off with gentle finishing strokes.’
      • ‘Surfaces painted with semi-gloss or eggshell finish paints are easier to clean than flat-finish paints.’
      • ‘He uses an oil based eggshell paint rather than a water-based emulsion for the base coats.’
      • ‘All paints consist of binders or resins, pigments, solvents, and additives-whether it's flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, or high-gloss.’
    3. 1.3as modifier (of china) of extreme thinness and delicacy.
      ‘eggshell porcelains’
      • ‘I found rabbit bones as delicate and thin as the finest eggshell porcelain, and crunched across the beaches to pick up pebbles of orange, green and black.’
      • ‘Eggshell porcelain undoubtedly dates back to the early reigns of the Ming dynasty,.’
      • ‘Frenchman Emile Galle's glass, the gorgeous Rozenberg items in eggshell porcelain and William Moorcrofts's pair of Flamminian Ware vases, like the Mucha works, provide the many highlights of the Blackwell exhibition.’
      • ‘The eggshell thinness of the excised porcelain and the transparency of the glaze impart a striking translucency when the vase is held up to the light.’
      • ‘The glassware and silver twinkled from the light in the overhead chandelier, and the porcelain coffee cups were so eggshell thin that one expected them to shatter into pieces when the hot coffee was poured into them.’
    4. 1.4 A pale yellowish-white color.
      • ‘While a softer, lemony yellow works well with white, daffodil yellow is too bright, and you'd most likely want to accent it instead with an off-off-white, eggshell, or cream to keep it from being too bright and cold.’
      • ‘It's on the pinky side of white so it could be cream or it could be white eggshell.’
      • ‘Whenever you choose off-white (including cream, ecru, eggshell or off-white by any other name) you have to carefully consider whether there is any bright white in the vicinity.’
      • ‘When I closed the book the light outside was long beyond Prussian blue and well on its way to eggshell.’
      • ‘Loafers are the perfect answer to your business attire all year round, but summery loafers come in lighter shades like tan, beige and eggshell, and are more popular in suede rather than regular leather.’