\ 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 Whatever the method, the goal is to quickly shunt buyers away from Marketplace and onto a platform where there are fewer risks of being caught or called out by Facebook users. Craig Silverman, ProPublica, 22 Sep. 2021 But the city is designed in ways that shunt water away from its natural water cycle. David Hochman, Forbes, 21 June 2021 After the fracking was over, the cracks would act like conduits and would shunt gas or oil molecules to the well more quickly. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 19 May 2021 For true believers, these concerns have been easy to shunt aside—especially when there’s the opportunity to strike it rich. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 20 Apr. 2021 Indonesia would soon elect its first commoner president, and Malaysia would shunt aside a governing party bloated by decades of graft and patronage. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2021 Under the right, or wrong, conditions, the Honda can shunt as much as 40% of engine torque to the rear wheels. Dan Neil, WSJ, 19 Feb. 2021 This waste soon became an urban scourge, unleashing tides of infectious disease that compelled leaders in places like London to devise ways to shunt away the copious excretions of their residents. Julia Rosen, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2021 Casar says that will just shunt even more people onto the streets. Alissa Walker, Curbed, 1 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun A month later, that shunt was rejected, and another had to be put in. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 17 Sep. 2021 Durst has bladder cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries, including the insertion of a shunt in his head to relieve pressure on his brain. Paul Vercammen, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 Reiche was convicted on Thursday for the shunt attack and is facing up to two decades in prison. Houston Keene, Fox News, 13 Sep. 2021 Durst, 78, has bladder cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries, including the insertion of a shunt in his head to relieve pressure on his brain. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 9 Aug. 2021 The Marine private expelled a heavy shunt of air, a big smile appearing on his face. oregonlive, 9 Aug. 2021 But with Pato O’Ward close enough behind him and appearing to have to change his driving line, along with significant debris on the track from the shunt, a local yellow did fly. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Aug. 2021 Singleton never asked for tears or trendy social reform but insisted on the honesty that politicians and the media shunt aside in favor of platitudes. Armond White, National Review, 7 July 2021 Lewin said Durst’s shaved head was a move to show off a shunt scar, and pointed out the Galveston district attorney accused Durst of lowering his chair during the trial to look smaller to the jury. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 28 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for shunt

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

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Dictionary Entries Near shunt



shunt dynamo

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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


transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on shunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shunt

Nglish: Translation of shunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shunt for Arabic Speakers


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