\ˈshət \
shut; shutting

Definition of shut 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to move into position to close an opening shut the lid

b : to prevent entrance to or passage to or from

2 : to confine by or as if by enclosure shut herself in her study

3 : to fasten with a lock or bolt

4 : to close by bringing enclosing or covering parts together shut the eyes

5 : to cause to cease or suspend an operation or activity often used with down

intransitive verb

1 : to close itself or become closed flowers that shut at night

2 : to cease or suspend an operation or activity often used with down



Definition of shut (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : closed, fastened, or folded together

2 : rid, clear, free usually used with of



Definition of shut (Entry 3 of 3)

: the act of shutting

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Synonyms & Antonyms for shut

Synonyms: Verb

close, make [chiefly dialect], steek [chiefly Scottish]

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of shut in a Sentence


He shut his eyes and went to sleep. She shut the book loudly. I accidentally shut the door on her fingers. flowers that shut at night The door shut slowly behind me. The owner is shutting the pub for the weekend. They plan to shut the factory by the end of the year.


She listened to the music with her eyes shut. Check to make sure that all the windows are shut.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No Wolf Among Us 2, either Condolences also to Telltale, which all-but-shut-down this week as well. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Telltale hit with major layoffs and THQ continues its buying spree," 21 Sep. 2018 Since Trump’s election, the ranks of Never Trump have dramatically shrunk as Republicans, and especially conservatives, have made their peace with the once-terrifying chieftain, or simply kept their mouths shut. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "DHS Secretary Nielsen is Not MAGA Enough for Trump’s White House," 11 May 2018 Snider walks into the team’s dugout restroom, shuts the door and sounds off in frustration. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Chasing Omaha: 3 days inside Louisville baseball's latest bid for the College World Series," 2 May 2018 Anu is understandably confused as Raj runs to the bathroom, shuts the door, and pops open a bottle of champagne. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 8 Nov. 2018 Grocery stores are especially tricky, as chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's usually shut their doors on December 25. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's Which Stores Are Open on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve," 21 Oct. 2018 One of my suppliers decided to just shut their doors. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How Trump’s tariffs are affecting the furniture industry," 7 Aug. 2018 Another, a self-portrait, has a yellow emoji painted atop part of Hussainy’s face, zipping its own mouth shut, to represent the demand that women be quiet. Libby Solomon,, "'No one can stop me': Afghan artist Sughra Hussainy on women's rights and change through art," 3 July 2018 The guard could not get up the stairwell to Paddock's room because Paddock had bolted shut the stairwell door. Michael Kiefer, azcentral, "Arizona couple files lawsuit against Las Vegas hotel where mass shooting took place," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recommended bond trading close at 2 p.m. ET and remain shut Wednesday, while U.S. stock trading ended at 1 p.m. ET. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Treasurys Strengthen Ahead of July 4 Holiday," 3 July 2018 Many restaurants remain shut during daylight hours. Kamakshi Ayyar, Time, "Your Complete Guide to Ramadan, Including the Proper Greeting and When It Starts," 15 May 2018 Many buildings remain shut or under reconstruction, especially in the Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods. Christopher Reynolds,, "Savor Puebla, a Mexican gem known for its food and sense of style," 18 Mar. 2018 Rachel Lindsay took full advantage of the Fantasy Suite on The Bachelor … to catch up on some shut eye. Stephanie Petit,, "Rachel Lindsay Didn't Have Sex with Nick Viall in the Fantasy Suite ... Because of Donald Trump," 7 Feb. 2018 Others remain shut to deal with damage and lack of water. Tim Johnson, miamiherald, "Puerto Rico economy at ‘a near standstill’ | Miami Herald," 10 Oct. 2017 Many assume that schools will remain shut for months. Tim Johnson, miamiherald, "In Puerto Rico, frustrated parents wonder when schools will reopen. It may be a while," 2 Oct. 2017 Some refineries remain shut or are running at reduced capacity, and gasoline prices have soared. Clifford Krauss, New York Times, "We Lived Through a Flood. Now We Have a Very Long To-Do List.," 8 Sep. 2017 Motorists across Texas and the rest of the United States can expect to pay 5 to 15 cents a gallon more at the pumps, as refineries in Houston and other parts of South Texas remain shut down. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Gas prices already rising and likely to go higher thanks to Harvey," 28 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her mother, rendered a shut-in by arthritis, didn’t have enough money for assisted-living facilities. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "‘I Was Hoping to Be Retired’: The Cost of Supporting Parents and Adult Children," 16 Nov. 2018 There was something a tad Rick Owens and Craig Green about the collection: all the darkness, and the protruding, padded bags and hoods tightly draw-stringed shut. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Ungendered Suiting, Hanbok Tradition, and #MeToo Surfaced at Seoul Fashion Week—Sarah Mower Reports," 23 Oct. 2018 The door was swollen shut and workers used crowbars to open it. Michael Brice-saddler, The Seattle Times, "Elderly man rescued after spending five days trapped in fire-damaged senior complex," 24 Sep. 2018 Authorities in the Saronic municipality near Athens, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos and the Aegean islands of Tinos, Andros and Mykonos ordered schools to remain shut. Elena Becatoros And Derek Gatopoulos, Fox News, "Cyclone warning as gale-force winds batter Greece," 27 Sep. 2018 And what seemed like an open-and-shut robbery case is proving much more complicated. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "The Crypto Crime Wave Is Here," 26 Apr. 2018 But in the play Higgins is a shut-in weirdo who obsesses about language, and it’s Eliza who brings him into the world emotionally. Alex Witchel, Town & Country, "A New Broadway Revival of My Fair Lady Sees Eliza Fall In Love With Herself," 20 Apr. 2018 Maribel bought her a set of walkie-talkies to talk with other shut-in children on the ward at Rady Children’s Hospital. Pam Kragen,, "Beer community steps up for girl with cancer," 10 Mar. 2018 If every town has a you-can’t-shut-me-up activist who second-guesses council members and dominates the public comments portions of meetings, few have elevated the art like Lozman. Robert Barnes, Washington Post, "A Florida provocateur has his day before the U.S. Supreme Court — again," 25 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shut.' 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 shut


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shut


Middle English shetten, shutten, from Old English scyttan; akin to Middle Dutch schutten to shut in, Old English scēotan to shoot — more at shoot

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Learn More about shut

Dictionary Entries near shut





shut away

shut down


Statistics for shut

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shut

The first known use of shut was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shut



English Language Learners Definition of shut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to close (something)

: to become closed

: to stop the services or activities of (a business, school, etc.) for a period of time or forever



English Language Learners Definition of shut (Entry 2 of 2)

: not open

: not operating or open to the public


\ˈshət \
shut; shutting

Kids Definition of shut

1 : to close or become closed She shut the book loudly. The door shuts by itself.

2 : to stop or cause to stop operation She shut down the computer. Shut off the TV.

3 : to confine by or as if by enclosing or by blocking the way out Guards shut the thieves in a jail cell.

4 : to close by bringing parts together Don't look! Shut your eyes!

shut out

1 : to keep (something) from entering Curtains shut out the sun.

2 : to keep (an opponent) from scoring in a game

shut up

: to stop talking

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More from Merriam-Webster on shut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shut

Spanish Central: Translation of shut

Nglish: Translation of shut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shut for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shut

What made you want to look up shut? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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