1a long, narrow part or section forming the handle of a tool or club, the body of a spear or arrow, or similar:the shaft of a golf club the shaft of a feather a column, especially the main part between the base and capital. a long cylindrical rotating rod for the transmission of motive power in a machine. each of the pair of poles between which a horse is harnessed to a vehicle: the shafts of a horse-drawn wagon 2a ray of light or bolt of lightning:a shaft of sunlight a sudden flash of a quality or feeling:a shaft of inspiration a remark intended to be witty, wounding, or provoking:he directs his shafts against her 3a long, narrow, typically vertical hole that gives access to a mine, accommodates a lift in a building, or provides ventilation.
4 vulgar slang a man’s penis.
) North American informal harsh or unfair treatment:the executives continue to raise their pay while the workers get the shaft
1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (of light) shine in beams:brilliant sunshine shafted through the skylight
2 [with object] vulgar slang (of a man) have sexual intercourse with (a woman). informal treat (someone) harshly or unfairly:I suppose she’ll get a lawyer and I’ll be shafted