The long narrow stem or body of a spear or arrow. A spear or arrow. A projectile suggestive of a spear or arrow in appearance or configuration. Informal A scornfully satirical comment; a barb. Slang Harsh, unfair treatment. Often used with the: The president of the airline really gave the unions the shaft. A ray or beam of light. A long thin object or part, as: The handle of any of various tools or implements. One of two parallel poles between which an animal is harnessed to a vehicle. A long, generally cylindrical bar that rotates and transmits power, as the drive shaft of an engine. Zoology The main axis of a feather, especially its distal portion. Anatomy The midsection of a long bone; the diaphysis. Anatomy The section of a hair projecting from the surface of the body. Architecture A column or obelisk. Architecture The principal portion of a column, between the capital and the base. A long, narrow, often vertical passage sunk into the earth, as for mining ore; a tunnel. A vertical passage housing an elevator. A duct or conduit for the passage of air, as for ventilation or heating. To equip with a shaft. Slang To treat in a harsh, unfair way: "He had been shafted by the press quite a bit\u201d ( Frank Deford).