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eggshell

[eg-shel] /ˈɛgˌʃɛl/
noun
1.
the shell of a bird's egg, consisting of keratin fibers and calcite crystals.
2.
a pale yellowish-white color.
3.
rather bulky paper having a slightly rough finish.
adjective
4.
like an eggshell, as in thinness and delicacy; very brittle; fragile.
5.
being pale yellowish-white in color.
6.
having little or no gloss:
eggshell white paint.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English ayschelle. See egg1, shell
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for eggshell
  • To confirm his statements he showed the eggshell which could still be seen on a small plate in the room.
  • Fill the eggshell partway with water and shake it up to rinse thoroughly.
  • The real surprise, however, was fragments of dinosaur eggshell.
  • Most strikingly, she's got a responsive, cherubic eggshell-white face to make you comfortable talking to her.
  • The eggshell is cracked, and the influenza virus is injected into the fluid surrounding the embryo.
  • Thin sections will allow us to look at the porosity and microstructure of the eggshell.
  • Vinegar, an acid, dissolves the calcium in the eggshell.
  • The weight of these large muscles was offset by lightweight, eggshell-thin bones filled with air.
  • Decor is in shades of blue, with wood furniture and eggshell walls.
  • It's often compared to an eggshell, but that makes it sound too fragile.
British Dictionary definitions for eggshell

eggshell

/ˈɛɡˌʃɛl/
noun
1.
the hard porous protective outer layer of a bird's egg, consisting of calcite and protein
2.
a yellowish-white colour
3.
a type of paper with a slightly rough finish
4.
(modifier) (of paint) having a very slight sheen: an eggshell finish
5.
walk on eggshells, to be very cautious or diplomatic for fear of upsetting someone
adjective
6.
of a yellowish-white colour: eggshell paint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eggshell
n.

early 15c., from egg (n.) + shell (n.). Earlier ay-schelle (c.1300). Emblematic of "thin and delicate" from 1835; as a color term, from 1894. The figure of treading on eggshells "to move cautiously" is attested by 1734.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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