shell
  • noun a hard outer covering of an animal, egg or seed
  • noun a piece of software which operates between the user and the operating system, often to try and make the operating system more friendly or easier to use
  • Any of the several orbits around the nucleus of an atom, in which electrons may be found. Each successive orbit further from the nucleus has greater energy. Each shell may only contain a specific number of electrons, and those in the same shell have the same energy. Electrons in the outer shell produce a net transport of electric charge under the influence of an electric field. Also called electron shell.
  • The user interface for a command interpreter, which is a part of a computer's operating system that accepts a given number of commands for the performance of programmed tasks. Also called command shell.
  • A hard outer case, such as that of an audio or video cassette.
  • The outer layer or housing of something, such as the envelope of an electric lamp or electron tube.

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