shut·​down | \ ˈshət-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce shutdown (audio) \

Definition of shutdown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the cessation or suspension of an operation or activity

shut down

shut down; shutting down; shuts down

Definition of shut down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to settle so as to obscure vision : close in the night shut down early

transitive verb

: to make ineffective in competition shut down the opposition's offensive line

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Examples of shutdown in a Sentence


the shutdown of the factory the factory resumed operation after a brief shutdown for repairs

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That shutdown, the first in state history, lasted eight days. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "Last-Minute Budget Deal Averts Shutdown in New Jersey," 30 June 2018 So the House needs to clear the monster bill today and the Senate tomorrow, lest a fifth stopgap spending measure — or a brief government shutdown, the third of the fiscal year — becomes a necessity. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Congress to Vote on 2,232 Page Spending Bill Before Ink Is Dry," 22 Mar. 2018 The rescheduled dates for the remaining cases will be determined once the shutdown is over. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "5 Ways the Government Shutdown Is Impacting Americans," 3 Jan. 2019 But unfortunately the government shutdown is having a dire effect on the camping experience in National Parks everywhere. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Trash Is Piling Up at National Parks Due to the Government Shutdown," 28 Dec. 2018 Fortunately, a stopgap spending bill signed by Trump in the eleventh hour to avoid a government shutdown included a brief extension of VAWA through December 7. Jennifer Weiss-wolf, Harper's BAZAAR, "Even If Kavanaugh Gets Confirmed, We Must Fight For the Violence Against Women Act," 4 Oct. 2018 After the internet collectively lost it over Instagram and Facebook's shutdown last week, celebrities over the weekend made up for lost time with some incredible social media beauty and fashion moments. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's Fur Boots and More Instagram Celeb Style Moments From This Weekend," 18 Mar. 2019 However, with the shutdown drama over and markets recovering after a bout of volatility late last year, the floodgates are poised to open for new issues. Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Pinterest Files Confidentially for IPO," 22 Feb. 2019 Talk of such a drastic move had circulated for a few months during the battle over funding Trump waged with the Democrats, which resulted in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Donald Trump Declares a National Emergency and Sings About Getting Sued," 15 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Red Raiders won a share of the Big 12 regular-season title to end Kansas’ 14-year reign this season and shut down four straight NCAA Tournament opponents to reach the Final Four for the first time. John Marshall, The Seattle Times, "Virginia, Texas Tech give Final Four certain new look," 31 Mar. 2019 The reports of a shut down from the Queen come just days after the royal family confirmed that Harry and Meghan would be splitting their household from Will and Kate's and establishing their own office at Buckingham Palace. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Asked for Independence and the Queen Said No," 17 Mar. 2019 He's also been rumored to be dating Camila Cabello, but the two friends have repeatedly shut down any hints of a romantic relationship. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Shawn Mendes' Love Life," 11 Feb. 2019 Several newsrooms have had to downsize, restructure and, in some cases, sell or shut down altogether. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 The drop came during the annual pause in China’s manufacturing during the Lunar New Year celebration, when factories typically shut down for several weeks. Paul Page, WSJ, "U.S. Seaborne Imports to Los Angeles, Long Beach Plunged in February," 18 Mar. 2019 When Defy shut down, creators stopped getting checks, and were left with no clear path to recover outstanding debts. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube creators blindsided by major network’s collapse," 5 Dec. 2018 The infamous Black Monday of 1977, when a steel plant in nearby Youngstown shut down and thousands of people lost their jobs, was devastating. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 When the event gets shut down, so does their relationship — but with a Christmas miracle, there's still hope for everything to go as planned. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "55 New Christmas Movies You Can Watch on TV This Holiday Season," 1 Oct. 2018

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


1888, in the meaning defined above


1779, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near shutdown


shut away

shut down





Statistics for shutdown

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for shutdown

The first known use of shutdown was in 1779

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More Definitions for shutdown



English Language Learners Definition of shutdown

: the act of stopping the operation or activity of a business, machine, etc., for a period of time or forever

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Comments on shutdown

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


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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