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

Noun the shutdown of the factory the factory resumed operation after a brief shutdown for repairs
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Oregon Supreme Court upheld Governor Kate Brown’s shutdown orders aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic., 12 June 2021 Tourism dollars are crucial to the city’s economy, which has seen occupancy rates plummet since the depths of the pandemic last year and shifting state and local business shutdown orders. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 2021 The statewide shutdown orders that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic last year deepened those divisions, crippling businesses at a time when some rural counties had few cases. New York Times, 21 May 2021 However, it was greatly reduced from 15.9 percent last April when COVID-19 shutdown orders rocked the economy. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 May 2021 And then came the statewide shutdown orders that forced the vast majority of Chinatown businesses (including 85% of the 270-plus eateries) to quickly close their doors for many months on end. Lisa Wong Macabasco, Vogue, 5 May 2021 Now, four months into 2021, life is returning to normal in many quarters of the city as vaccination efforts drive down coronavirus infections, shutdown orders are lifted and businesses reopen. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2021 Minorities were overrepresented in essential front-line jobs, which put them at higher risk of COVID exposure, and in nonessential jobs, which were subject to shutdown orders. Dallas News, 20 Apr. 2021 Cutler recalls a different — and dysfunctional — dynamic last year, after the governor had issued COVID shutdown orders. Kevin Mooney, National Review, 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many funds fail to reach that mark and eventually shut down. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, 19 June 2021 If there is no state budget by that date, thousands of state employees will be laid off and critical services will shut down. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 19 June 2021 Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell said the company detected the latest intrusion to some of its information-technology systems on March 19 and shut down access and hired a cybersecurity company to investigate. CBS News, 18 June 2021 Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell said the company detected the latest intrusion to some of its information-technology systems on March 19 and shut down access and hired a cybersecurity company to investigate. NBC News, 18 June 2021 All three were assigned to the Tigers’ alternate training site in Toledo, but while Mize and Skubal went on to make the big-league debuts in August, Manning was shut down with a forearm strain. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 18 June 2021 The Cunninghams live in student housing, and the on-campus day-care center was shut down during the pandemic. Washington Post, 18 June 2021 But with little inventory on hand and few (or no) backup supply sources, goods makers often have no choice but to throttle back or shut down if something suddenly becomes unavailable. Ethan Karp, Forbes, 17 June 2021 Indoor fitness centers and gyms were among Maryland businesses shut down in March 2020 to slow the COVID-19 outbreak. Lorraine Mirabella,, 17 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for shutdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of shutdown was in 1779

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Dictionary Entries Near shutdown



shut away


shut down



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Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shutdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on shutdown

Nglish: Translation of shutdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shutdown for Arabic Speakers


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