\ 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 early as the 1890s, cities like Philadelphia and New York were using miles of underground pneumatic tubes to shunt mail around town. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "City garbage collection is finally getting the disruption it deserves," 30 Sep. 2020 The front will help shunt the moisture through the region and lower temperatures. Cheryl Vari, The Enquirer, "5 things to know about Hurricane Laura, Marco and Cincinnati weather this week," 25 Aug. 2020 America would be wise to help reverse the ruination of the natural world, a process that continues to shunt animal diseases into human bodies. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How the Pandemic Defeated America," 3 Aug. 2020 The tax would shunt money to the city’s general fund. Dominic Fracassa,, "SF proposal to tax companies with high-paid execs heads to November ballot," 16 June 2020 Shooting guns is the solution to every other problem thrown at you, and any political commentary is shunted by the fact that the game reveals later that this was all a setup by a rogue general trying to start a war. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," 9 May 2020 The virus is disproportionately killing elderly people, who had already been shunted to the fringes of society, but who will nonetheless be told to endure further loneliness so that everyone else can be freer. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Our Pandemic Summer," 14 Apr. 2020 Norris, known to be a keen gamer, was involved in some last corner drama as a YouTuber shunted the Briton out of the way to drop him down into fifth place. Matias Grez, CNN, "Formula One goes virtual as Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off the season," 23 Mar. 2020 John Goldstein, head of Goldman’s sustainable finance group, said the talent and experience of the women in the business is too valuable for them to be shunted aside. Fortune, "Responsible investing is a rare field of finance led by women. Now it’s hot—and men want in," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Through this collaboration, Dahl helped invent what would later be called the Wade-Dahl-Till valve—a type of cerebral shunt that cost less than a third of its predecessors. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Join Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi for Roald Dahl Charity Read-Along," 22 May 2020 Under the current treatment, doctors implant a shunt in an operation performed under general anesthesia, the company said., "The week in business," 13 June 2020 For $10 per month, Google’s Stadia game-streaming service shunts the computational heavy lifting to the company’s data centers. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 If a bulb's filament breaks, the shunt redirects current through the base of the bulb, maintaining the electrical circuit. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Fix a String of Christmas Lights," 21 Oct. 2019 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shunt

Last Updated

5 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for shunt


How to pronounce shunt (audio)

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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