shut·off | \ ˈshət-ˌȯf \

Definition of shutoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

shut off


Definition of shut off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to close off : separate usually used with from shut 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


the utility company threatened them with the shutoff of electricity if the bills weren't paid


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

An Oakland program has enabled the utility district to reduce the number of shutoffs to 10,952 last year from 13,400 in 2014, according to EBMUD General Manager Alexander Coate. David Harrison, WSJ, "Why Your Water Bill Is Rising Much Faster Than Inflation," 15 Mar. 2018 There is also evidence that the Atlantic circulation is weakening again, although scientists certainly do not think a total shutoff is imminent, and are still debating the causes of what is being observed. Christopher Mooney,, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 Some exceptions Hand watering with a spray nozzle that has an automatic shutoff valve is always allowed. Mark Skoneki,, "Why do Central Floridians water their lawns during rain storms? Let nature keep the grass green," 6 July 2018 Another round of shutoffs happened on Dec. 14 and 15, hitting 650 customers. David R. Baker,, "For PG&E, cutting power could prevent fires and save lives — and costs," 23 June 2018 Water shortages are a familiar challenge for large cities in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil: São Paulo, a city of 12 million people, came within 20 days of a complete shutoff in 2015, but was saved in the nick of time by rains. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Cape Town’s Water Crisis Should Be a Warning to the World," 6 Feb. 2018 Administrative officials are also increasing water shutoffs for residents with outstanding balances for more than seven months. Fox News, "Flint implements programs to keep water fund out of the red," 17 May 2018 But opponents of the shutoff program say that the city should instead focus on creating a water-affordability plan. Anne Branigin, The Root, "More Than 17,000 Detroit Homes at Risk for Water Shutoff: Report," 26 Mar. 2018 Investigators also have interviewed the accident pilot, who had told city officials that a passenger’s bag might have hit the emergency fuel shutoff. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "FAA bans open-door helicopter flights after New York City crash," 16 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On one possession, Dallas fronted Ayton and had a defender behind him in order to shut off any possible entry pass. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Quiet night for Ayton, but Okobo, Bridges impressive as Suns roll to Summer League win," 6 July 2018 Fire personnel and public utilities workers were at the scene to shut off gas and electricity to the house. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Man dies after car crashes into North Sacramento home," 27 June 2018 Alberta is ramping up its fight with British Columbia for Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain project with powers to shut off oil shipments to its coastal neighbor and a campaign to influence public opinion. Kevin Orland,, "Alberta Ramps Up Kinder Fight With Ad Campaign, Oil Cutoff Law," 11 May 2018 The devices would also give the department the ability to remotely shut off delinquent customers. Andrew Maykuth,, "Philly has a plan to replace decaying water pipes and sewers. And you will pay for it," 16 Apr. 2018 Meadors gave the order to shut off the water, Ramsey-Guy physically cut all water to Thomas' cell and Evans lied about the subsequent investigation, according to court records. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Jail's health care contractor charged with falsifying inmate records," 21 Feb. 2018 Assist, Cleveland Street: Officers helped a resident shut off water 7:33 p.m. Jan. 4 after plumbing pipes froze in the home. Joan Rusek,, "Woman puts fuel soaked log in fireplace then calls cops," 11 Jan. 2018 Someone shut off the car’s engine while others called neighbors who are nurses. Christine Dempsey,, "Tolland Man Dead After Car Crashes Into Neighbors' House," 5 July 2018 Hunt eventually shut off the innocent, good-guy stuff, and moved from country’s tropes into other musical atmospheres with confident, slow soul swagger. A.d. Amorosi,, "Country singer Sam Hunt rocks the Atlantic City beach, and inspires a proposal," 2 July 2018

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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Statistics for shutoff

Last Updated

30 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for shutoff

The first known use of shutoff was in 1818

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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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