\ ˈshət How to pronounce shut (audio) \
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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of shut in a Sentence

Verb 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. Adjective 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 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently temporarily shut a factory in Serbia because of shortages of Chinese parts. Daisuke Wakabayashi,, "Apple warns that coronavirus will hurt revenue," 17 Feb. 2020 Venues that normally draw large crowds have shut their doors indefinitely, and events like concerts and an international art fair have been canceled. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "China’s Art, From Museum Exhibits to Rock Concerts, Moves Online During Coronavirus Outbreak," 14 Feb. 2020 On the mundane end of scale, hackers could simply shut satellites down, denying access to their services. William Akoto, The Conversation, "Hackers could shut down satellites – or turn them into weapons," 12 Feb. 2020 The complex’s chemical plant has shut, including its olefins unit -- which takes feedstocks such as naphtha, butane, propane and ethane from the oil refinery and converts them into ethylene and propylene that are used to make plastics. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "How Exxon’s refinery fire in Baton Rouge could depress global oil demand," 12 Feb. 2020 Videos have circulated on Twitter that show Chinese officials spraying disinfectant on city streets, welding apartment buildings doors shut, and forcing citizens who refuse to wear masks into ambulances. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "‘I’m not even afraid of death’: Coronavirus journalist Chen Qiushi disappears after criticizing Chinese government," 11 Feb. 2020 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently temporarily shut a factory in Serbia because of shortages of Chinese parts. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "Apple Signals Coronavirus’s Threat to Global Businesses," 10 Feb. 2020 Although a quarter of them have shut shop since, plenty of stars have emerged, too. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Indian ed-tech may rake in $2 billion next year with a lot of help from entrance exams," 10 Feb. 2020 Shanghai, Beijing and several Chinese provinces ordered businesses to remain shut through Sunday, leaving the nation’s great megalopolises feeling like ghost towns. Fox News, "Coronavirus outbreak fuels medical supply shortage in China, as more than 37,500 infected globally," 9 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective My favorite design detail is the little rubber Swedish flag that pokes out from the shut line of the hood, just ahead of the driver's door. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Volvo XC40 is Swedish style in a smaller, more affordable package," 16 Dec. 2019 Schools continue to remain shut as multiple factors like vehicular emissions and construction dust lead to the haze in the national capital region. Vijayta Lalwani, Quartz India, "Did Delhi’s deadly smog just move 3,000 km to the south?," 19 Nov. 2019 That would be just fine with Mr Trump: the longer the justices tarry, the longer his books stay shut to prying eyes. The Economist, "How will the Supreme Court rule in the fight over Donald Trump’s taxes?," 18 Nov. 2019 Strong winds are expected to last for about 36 hours from Wednesday morning through Thursday evening, which could result in far more shut-offs by PG&E than the 10,000-plus seen this past weekend. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Cool temps ahead, but strong winds may usher dangerous fire conditions into Bay Area," 7 Oct. 2019 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 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 Schools remained shut and two former chief ministers of the state were arrested. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "Internet, mobile blackout shuts down communication with Kashmir," 6 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In October, both senators’ districts were hit by wildfires, PG&E power shut-offs meant to prevent such blazes, and days-long communications service failures. Mallory Moench,, "California making new rules to fix cell phones failures by summer 2020," 23 Jan. 2020 After last year’s shut-offs, the Commission held a hearing that called for action and potential requirements for backup power and information sharing. Mallory Moench,, "California pushes to fix communication outages during blackouts before next fire season," 9 Jan. 2020 The shut-off was caused by a break in a 3-inch water line under one of the mobile homes, officials said. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, "In California: Senior community goes days without running water," 3 Jan. 2020 But new shut-off rules remain under consideration by the Arizona Corporation Commission. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Sex scandals, wedding invitations, faulty prison locks. These are the 19 top Arizona stories of 2019," 22 Dec. 2019 Plus, there’s an automatic shut-off function to prevent the device from overheating. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Best Travel Steamers for a Wrinkle-Free Vacation," 5 Dec. 2019 Historic, dry winds prompted the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., to initiate four rounds of widespread pre-emptive shut-offs in Northern California this month to prevent wildfires., "LOS ANGELES — Crews fought a pitched battle against the last remaining large wildfire in Southern California as the stubborn flames threatened nearly 2,000 homes and other buildings.," 2 Nov. 2019 Many residents facing blackouts had barely recovered from a previous shut-off. Terry Chea And Daisy Nguyen, Houston Chronicle, "Scores fleeing California's wind-driven blaze set up camp," 27 Oct. 2019 Customers said that the shut-offs created a whole new set of hazards by preventing people from getting news about fires. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Will the power go out again today?," 23 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for shut

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shut

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for shut


How to pronounce shut (audio)

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
British : not operating or open to the public


\ ˈshət How to pronounce shut (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shut

Spanish Central: Translation of shut

Nglish: Translation of shut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shut for Arabic Speakers

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