\ ˈshənt How to pronounce shunt (audio) \
shunted; shunting; shunts

Definition of shunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to turn off to one side : shift was shunted aside
b : to switch (a railroad car, a train, etc.) from one track to another
2 : to provide with or divert by means of an electrical shunt
3 : to divert (blood) from one part to another by a surgical shunt
4 : shuttle shunted the missiles from shelter to shelter

intransitive verb

1 : to move to the side
2 : to travel back and forth shunted between the two towns



Definition of shunt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a means or mechanism for turning or thrusting aside: such as
a chiefly British : a railroad switch
b : a conductor joining two points in an electrical circuit so as to form a parallel or alternative path through which a portion of the current may pass (as for regulating the amount passing in the main circuit)
c : a surgical passage created to divert a bodily fluid (such as blood) from one vessel or part to another also : a device (such as a narrow tube) used to establish a similar passage
2 chiefly British : an accident (such as a collision between two cars) especially in auto racing

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Other Words from shunt


shunter noun

Examples of shunt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As hip-hop’s growth steps have become more micro, though, truly resistant rap countermovements have been shunted even further to the fringes. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Indie Rap Veterans Return to a Genre Still in Need of Opposition," 4 Apr. 2018 Buses coming from West Seattle, White Center and Burien will be shunted off the viaduct onto the Sodo Busway and downtown surface streets. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle officials plead for help, patience as viaduct traffic problems loom," 13 Jan. 2019 Hard donation limits, meant to cure the appearance of corruption, have shunted money to outside groups, which are far less accountable. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Reid Hoffman’s Fake News," 11 Jan. 2019 Rameau’s Pygmalion and his statue were largely shunted to the background by all the frenetic activity at the front of the stage. James R. Oestreich, New York Times, "Review: Ahead of ‘My Fair Lady,’ Two Operatic Pygmalions," 26 Mar. 2018 The Academy will face dissent within its ranks, too, from constituents like sound mixers and short-film creators who may see their categories shunted to the commercial break. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Oscars to Trim Some Awards From Telecast, Add a ‘Popular Film’ Category," 8 Aug. 2018 For a quarter-century after the Soviet Union collapsed, the establishment consensus for building up the global order dominated American foreign policy, and dissenting voices were shunted aside. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Populist Schism Over Syria," 23 Dec. 2018 Developed by Dave Filoni, this show ran for five seasons on The Cartoon Network and then got a six-episode final season shunted to Netflix in 2014. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "A new run of The Clone Wars is coming to Disney’s streaming service," 20 July 2018 The storm is like a snowplow in the atmosphere, shunting air ahead of it upwards and out of the way. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Video: Severe thunderstorms lash the Plains with tornadoes and hail," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the best weapons against it in recent years has been implants known as aqueous shunts or glaucoma drainage devices. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Latest Glaucoma Treatment Could Be Magnets In Your Eyes," 13 Nov. 2018 All or part of it may be dark because of a broken filament or a sketchy shunt (see glossary). David Agrell, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix a String of Christmas Lights," 12 Oct. 2018 Drew told the news outlet that Matthew is improving but will need a new shunt before they are sent home. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Parents of baby misdiagnosed with terminal brain condition in utero left fate 'in God's hands'," 28 Aug. 2018 The treatment, a shunt procedure to drain fluid from the brain, worked at first — but the Sooter family learned in May that Addy's tumor continued to spread, according to Yahoo. Josh Magness, star-telegram, "Boy says goodbye to his little sister and 'partner in crime' as she dies from cancer," 11 June 2018 Neurosurgeons installed a shunt to relieve the pressure and doctors diagnosed the culprit: a rare type of brain tumor - slow-growing and noncancerous, though hardly benign. Andrea Simakis,, "Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl's brain tumor treatment; court to decide," 13 May 2018 The shunt was doing its work because Zara had had no dizziness or vomiting for months. Andrea Simakis,, "Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl's brain tumor treatment; court to decide," 13 May 2018 Though many months of therapy enabled him to relearn how to walk, talk and eat again, the injuries left him with scoliosis and a shunt in his head. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "An Army vet and a man who survived a coma found friendship through science. Now they're graduating college together.," 12 May 2018 The baby is moving his legs and the brain pressure is good, which means no shunts. Naseem S. Miller,, "Orlando Health opens fetal surgery program," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shunt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shunt


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shunt


Middle English, to move suddenly, turn away, evade, perhaps from past participle of shonen

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Statistics for shunt

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shunt

The first known use of shunt was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for shunt



English Language Learners Definition of shunt

: to move (someone or something) to a different and usually less important or noticeable place or position
: to move (a train or railway car) from one track to another


\ ˈshənt How to pronounce shunt (audio) \
shunted; shunting

Kids Definition of shunt

1 : to turn or move off to one side or out of the way Cattle were shunted into a corral.
2 : to switch (as a train) from one track to another
\ ˈshənt How to pronounce shunt (audio) \

Medical Definition of shunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to divert by or as if by a shunt especially : to divert (blood) from one part to another by a surgical shunt



Medical Definition of shunt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a passage by which a bodily fluid (as blood) is diverted from one channel, circulatory path, or part to another especially : such a passage established by surgery or occurring as an abnormality an arteriovenous shunt
2a : a surgical procedure for the establishment of an artificial shunt — see portacaval shunt
b : a device (as a narrow tube) used to establish an artificial shunt plastic shunts have been used to bypass temporarily sections of major arteries— Johnson McGuire & Arnold Iglauer

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More from Merriam-Webster on shunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shunt

Spanish Central: Translation of shunt

Nglish: Translation of shunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shunt for Arabic Speakers

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