\ 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 or other bodily fluid) 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

Other Words from shunt


shunter noun

Examples of shunt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So, too, does the available all-wheel-drive system, which sends 70 percent of the engine's torque rearward and can further shunt 100 percent of that total to either rear wheel. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 3 Aug. 2022 Heat domes shunt the jet stream to the north, meaning the river of swiftly-moving upper-atmospheric winds was racing over the Northern Plains with plenty of momentum for thunderstorms to tap into. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 5 July 2022 Sparing Jeff the tough choices, the writers shunt moral transformation onto a minor character. Bonnie Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2022 An easy answer has been to shunt the discourse over to mental illness as the cause and in this way marginalize the problem and identify a ready, if superficial, solution to it: improving mental health. Arie Kruglanski, The Conversation, 19 May 2022 That sort of analysis is used by internet service providers to shunt unsolicited mass emails into spam folders. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 But others, having seen her weep, were determined to shunt their own disappointments aside and make Adele feel better. Chris Willman, Variety, 27 Jan. 2022 In November 2016, senior executives at Ohio’s FirstEnergy hatched plans to shunt more of the operating costs of their two nuclear plants onto individual customers. Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine , 4 Jan. 2022 Omicron could potentially shunt us more quickly toward a different endgame—endemicity, the point when humanity has gained enough immunity to hold the virus in a tenuous stalemate—albeit at significant cost. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After Long Beach, where he got caught up in Jimmie Johnson’s late-race shunt, Malukas found himself two months into his series debut and had finished just one race. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Aug. 2022 At the press conference, DeSantis was joined by the family of golfer Isabella Valle, who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a shunt in her brain. Byjay O'brien, ABC News, 3 June 2022 Isabella Valle uses a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a shunt in her brain to prevent the build-up of fluid. Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel, 13 May 2022 One infant needed a shunt implanted to remove fluid from her brain. The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2022 Doctors immediately operated and placed a shunt in Zen's skull to help drain off excess fluid. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 16 Dec. 2021 Doctors placed a shunt in the infant's skull to drain fluid, but the tumors in his head continued to grow. NBC News, 15 Dec. 2021 The first is a shunt, which is a tube inserted into the brain to drain excess fluid out of the brain and into the chest cavity or abdomen, allowing it to be absorbed into the body. Korin Miller,, 7 Dec. 2021 Zen immediately had brain surgery, including a shunt to remove the fluid. Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for shunt


\ 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 or other bodily fluid) 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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