Definition of shell-like in US English:



  • Resembling a shell in shape or appearance.

    ‘a creature with a shell-like carapace’
    • ‘Some of her favorites are the round, white, shell-like stones she finds by streams and rivers.’
    • ‘Nevertheless her ‘Nightsong’, which incorporates and subtly updates a line from an Irish song, is very fine, as is the even more stark, shell-like vocal of ‘Psalm’.’
    • ‘So if you imagine the cochlear being wound, it's sort of shell-like, it's not a straight system but what you've got to do is insert it as you might indeed a twisted shell like a snail and the further it goes in presumably the better the sound.’
    • ‘As the faeries left the classroom and made their way through the twisting, shell-like corridors of the palace, Phantasia stopped off to sit down on a rock shoal that overlooked the Queendom beyond the walls.’
    • ‘Over an exclusive telephone conversation, the ever excitable Matt Alden confided in my shell-like ears that he's incredibly excited about the new venture.’
    • ‘The blooms are shell-like, rather than flat and open.’
    • ‘The fragments from detonations of hydrogen-filled eggshells - compared with those of smashed shells - suggest that all shell-like structures may fragment in a similar way.’
    • ‘As for her hair, half of it was split horizontally on the back of her head and was tied up and twisted in a shell-like shape with an aqua-blue flower clip and the other half was down to her shoulders.’
    • ‘Promises will be made, seductive asides will be whispered into shell-like ears, egos will be stroked.’
    • ‘I feel the familiar signs, I feel the warmth at the base of the shell-like whorl.’
    • ‘Now, he and his team at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, inspired by the microscopic marine organism, radiolaria, are building shell-like structures that might one day form the building blocks of such devices.’
    • ‘Within a shell-like body no bigger than a motorcycle wheel, Beagle 2 carries an incredible array of instruments, including an on-board laboratory for analysing samples, a rock drill and a burrowing mole.’
    • ‘The writer equated ‘its shell-like translucency [with] the finest old Chinese porcelain.’’
    • ‘The sandals nearly eclipsed Renee's tiny, delicate feet, and Suzie had spent a painstaking quarter of an hour painting her shell-like toenails a girlish shade of pink.’
    • ‘In ‘Amphibians,’ the tortoises arranged around the shell-like form vary in size gradually.’
    • ‘Word reached my shell-like ears just as the quartet were gearing up to play their July 21 show.’
    • ‘Their bodies are not distinctly segmented, but an important feature of their anatomy is the carapace, a folded shell-like structure which covers the animal and opens both ventrally and posteriorly.’
    • ‘He was lying on his back, his eyes closed, his lips pouting, his right arm stretching upwards with his tiny fist curling beside his shell-like ear.’
    • ‘His pink, shell-like horn strikes the glass with an audible thump.’
    • ‘We were trying to decipher the pictures narrated in Arabic: A weeping man was tending some palm-size, brownish, shell-like objects.’


  • A person's ear.

    ‘Prentice had a word in somebody's shell-like’
    • ‘Anyway, I jammed a pair of earplugs in the ol’ shell-likes and managed to get a bit of extra kip, although I had some very weird dreams and dreams within dreams.’
    • ‘By the time Bugs Bunny picks his way through the smoking wreckage to have the last word in your shell-like, the dizzying accretion of events has pulled you through so many emotional states you might not even know what day it is.’
    • ‘The clamour among Celtic supporters is for Strachan to have similar words in the shell-like of Thompson, who made an inauspicious comeback from injury last week.’
    • ‘My trainer Tim Etherington, awfully nice chap, has whispered in my shell-like that I am entered in not just one, but two meetings next week.’
    • ‘Over toasted sandwiches in an Edinburgh hotel room, Gary Lewis is telling me a story Michael Caine told him about a piece of acting advice dropped into Caine's shell-like by none other than bow-legged screen legend John Wayne.’
    • ‘Ever bashful, Rolf bounded towards the dais and whispered instructions in Howard's shell-like, believing he was the house pianist.’
    • ‘The Lord wants a quick word in your collective shell-like.’
    • ‘This is because he has just had a word in the Pope's shell-like.’
    organ of hearing
    View synonyms