shut·​off | \ ˈshət-ˌȯf How to pronounce shutoff (audio) \

Definition of shutoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something (such as a valve) that shuts off

shut off

shut off; shutting off; shuts off

Definition of shut off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to close off : separate usually used with fromshut off from the rest of the world
2a : to cut off (a flow or passage) : stop shuts off the oxygen supply
b : to stop the operation of (something, such as a machine) shut the motor off

intransitive verb

: to cease operating : stop shuts off automatically

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Examples of shutoff in a Sentence

Noun the utility company threatened them with the shutoff of electricity if the bills weren't paid Verb threatened to shut off peace talks if the other side kept making unreasonable demands shut off the computer to save electricity
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Look for models with an auto-shutoff feature and a low-oxygen sensor. Tony Hansen, Outdoor Life, "How to Hunt Winter Whitetails Without Freezing to Death," 14 Jan. 2020 Pacific Gas & Electric also has finished restoring power to dozens of counties in north and central California following a third round of shutoffs this week. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "California police rip drone pilot as device gets in way of wildfire relief efforts," 2 Nov. 2019 Pacific Gas & Electric finished restoring power to dozens of counties in the north and central regions after a third round of shutoffs this week designed to protect power lines from being damaged or toppled by high winds and sparking fires., "Authorities in Ventura County ordered evacuations for about 7,500 people in an area that includes roughly 1,800 buildings as the blaze threatened the small, unincorporated rural community of Somis.," 1 Nov. 2019 The San Diego Gas & Electric utility warned of power shutoffs to about 24,000 customers. CBS News, "California wildfire fanned by 70 mph winds forces hundreds to flee," 24 Oct. 2019 The company began warning its customers of possible power shutoffs due to hot, dry, windy weather over the weekend. Ramona Sentinel, "100 SDG&E customers affected by power outage," 21 Oct. 2019 Utility officials have admitted that large-scale power shutoffs —during which tens or hundreds of thousands of people lose power for days—will be a regular feature of fall life for a decade. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The Toxic Bubble of Technical Debt Threatening America," 29 Oct. 2019 Nearly 30,000 North Bay homes and businesses — equivalent to about 90,000 people — were without power or expected to lose it Wednesday morning in the latest round of PG&E’s precautionary power shutoffs. Michael Cabanatuan,, "PG&E outages: 90,000 people losing power in Bay Area," 20 Nov. 2019 As first reported earlier this year by WBEZ, water shutoffs in Chicago have long been concentrated in communities of color. Cecilia Reyes,, "Low-income Chicagoans may get break on water bills through discounted rate, debt relief," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Since then, it has been suspended in tension, with most internet service still shut off and schools deserted. New York Times, "Indian General Talks of ‘Deradicalization Camps’ for Kashmiris," 17 Jan. 2020 When the process is done, the pot should be full and the coffee maker will automatically shut off. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Most coffee makers are crawling with germs and growing mold, experts say. Here's why," 16 Jan. 2020 On the night the Kincade Fire started, PG&E had turned off lower-voltage distribution lines in the area but did not shut off its heavy-duty transmission lines. J.d. Morris,, "Sonoma County readies legal action against PG&E over Kincade Fire," 13 Jan. 2020 Through a series of experimental programs implemented in 2019, the Trump administration has gained the power to restrict or shut off asylum for most types of migrants who ask for protection at the southern border. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Drop in apprehensions along the US-Mexico border continued in December," 9 Jan. 2020 Barrett said city crews shut off connecting mains, stopped the flow of water and ensured sewers were clear. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Hawley Road to reopen Monday, two weeks after water main break that flooded basements," 7 Jan. 2020 The new SUVs, unveiled Tuesday night at an arena in Detroit, also will get stop-start technology that shuts off the engine at stop lights, and the engines will be able to run on as few as two cylinders to save fuel. Tim Krisher,, "As climate change fears grow, GM unveils larger, heavier Chevy SUVs," 11 Dec. 2019 The first segment, closest to the head, remains vacant thanks to a molecular brake that shuts off the suite of genes which typically gives rise to wings. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Treehoppers’ Bizarre, Wondrous Helmets Use Wing Genes to Grow," 9 Dec. 2019 Getting rest isn’t always as simple as climbing into bed and shutting off the lights. Wired, "The Science Is Extremely Clear: You Need to Prioritize Sleep," 12 Nov. 2019

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


1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1818, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for shutoff

Time Traveler

The first known use of shutoff was in 1818

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Statistics for shutoff

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shutoff.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shutoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shutoff

Comments on shutoff

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


dull or mediocre

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