\ 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

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

At non-swim times, doors facing water should be shut and locked. Erin Strybis, Washington Post, "Drowning happens so easily. Here’s what parents get wrong about water safety.," 5 July 2019 At non-swim times, doors facing water should be shut and locked. Erin Strybis,, "Drowning happens so easily. Here’s what parents get wrong about water safety.," 5 July 2019 Make sure doors and windows are shut and properly sealed and use fans to supplement your air conditioning in occupied rooms. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Air conditioning maintenance hot topic this time of year," 30 June 2019 Valero’s Benicia Refinery, which drew the ire of residents and city officials after emitting airborne pollutants, has quietly reopened after being shut for more than a month this spring. Sophia Kunthara,, "Valero’s Benicia refinery has reopened following problems," 19 June 2019 Due to intense heat, the Bihar state government has ordered all government and private schools in the state to be shut until Monday. Swati Gupta, CNN, "Child death toll from brain disease crosses 100 in India as parents protest," 18 June 2019 Their window slammed shut as the Dodgers, under new ownership, won their division and led the majors in attendance every year since 2013. Bill Shaikin,, "Lakers remain a thriving financial ‘gold mine’ in competitive L.A. sports market," 18 June 2019 The Shanghai Composite jumped 1.4% to a two-month high, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was shut for a holiday and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.7%. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Inch Higher, Led by Industrial Companies," 11 Feb. 2019 In 2013, the Transition Institute, another adventurous think tank in Beijing, was shut by the government; its founder, Guo Yushan, was detained in 2014 and held for nearly a year. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "In Beijing, Doors Shut on a Bastion of Independent Ideas," 11 July 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

During Prince Louis’ christening at the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace in London, Prince Louis, who turned 1 year old in April, also got some shut-eye — and had some pretty fantastic photographs taken, too. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Photos of Royal Baby Archie at His Christening Are Here," 6 July 2019 Some automakers have added an automatic shut-off, including Ford on all its keyless vehicles since the 2015 model year. David Jeans, New York Times, "‘Very Smart People,’ but a Keyless Car’s Downside Killed Them," 28 June 2019 The door was slammed shut but then Rivera fired five shots through the door, one striking the man’s shoulder and another hitting a woman in the head, the police records said. Aubrey Carpenter, azcentral, "Man arrested on suspicion of 2016 Glendale apartment shooting that left 1 dead, 1 wounded," 19 June 2019 For chip suppliers, that’s an awfully big wallet to zip shut. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Broadcom Shows Huawei’s Ripple Effect," 13 June 2019 Assessment: Has potential as a shut-down pairing guy. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings 2017 NHL draft review: Some quality choices amid quantity," 9 June 2019 At city speeds or ultra high speeds when traveling straight, the shut-off Gurney retracts (shuts off, get it?) to reduce drag. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "The 986-HP Ferrari SF90 Stradale Plug-In Hybrid Yanks Maranello Back Into Hypercar Race," 29 May 2019 In the popular imagination, there has long been one (very sad) picture of Emily Dickinson's personal life: that of a loveless shut-in. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Watch Molly Shannon Play Emily Dickinson as a Funny, Passionate Lesbian in Wild Nights with Emily," 7 Mar. 2019 Its auto shut-off feature powers down the base if untouched for more than 8 minutes. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2019, According to Cleaning Experts," 15 Feb. 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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Learn More about shut

Dictionary Entries near shut





shut away


shut down

Statistics for shut

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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
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

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

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