Definition of subshell in US English:

subshell

adjective

  • Located or occurring beneath a shell.

noun

  • 1Chiefly Geology. A shell that lies beneath another shell; a subsidiary layer within a shell.

  • 2Physics and Chemistry. A set of allowed quantum states within a shell of an atom which can be occupied by electrons having the same value of the orbital quantum number l. Also: a corresponding set of allowed quantum states of nucleons in a nucleus.

  • 3Computing. An instance of a shell initiated by another shell.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Annals and Magazine of Natural History. From sub- + shell.

Pronunciation

subshell

/ˈsʌbʃɛl/