shut·​down | \ˈshət-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of shutdown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the cessation or suspension of an operation or activity

shut 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

All sides must agree to a federal funding bill to prevent a partial government shutdown from beginning on Dec. 7. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Government funding, border wall await lame-duck Congress," 13 Nov. 2018 The House of Representatives Thursday overwhelmingly approved a $146 billion spending bill that will fund the Energy Department, veterans' programs and the legislative branch as part of a bid to avoid a government shutdown Oct. 1. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "House passes $146B 'minibus' bill, sends to Trump for approval," 13 Sep. 2018 The rides are daily, stopped only by dangerous weather and government shutdowns. Stina Sieg, azcentral, "Stubbornly steadfast, pack mules keep Grand Canyon moving," 9 June 2018 If lawmakers can't reach a consensus on budget and taxes by July 1, the state would undergo a partial government shutdown that could impact hospitals, roads, services for the elderly and disabled and higher education. Julia O'donoghue,, "Louisiana House votes down major sales tax bill, negotiations continue," 25 May 2018 The US Senate has approved a budget deal including a stopgap funding bill, but the vote early on Friday came after a midnight deadline and too late to prevent a federal government shutdown. Kevin Diaz, Houston Chronicle, "Senate panel approves Abbott counsel Andrew Oldham for 5th Circuit Court," 24 May 2018 Their recent filibuster triggering a government shutdown took a page out of the Gingrich playbook. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Republican Party, Not Trump, Is the Real Threat to American Democracy," 27 Apr. 2018 The senator has has pushed Trump to the brink on major policy decisions, including forcing a possible government shutdown over a standoff on healthcare policy. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky's senators paved the way for Mike Pompeo to become secretary of state," 24 Apr. 2018 This year, Rokita voted in February against a bipartisan budget deal that ended a government shutdown. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Test the Trump credentials of the 3 Indiana Republicans running for U.S. Senate," 17 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pressure campaigns really are effective at shutting down offensive speech. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Milo Yiannopoulos’s collapse shows that no-platforming can work," 5 Dec. 2018 Uber has since shut down its autonomous vehicle testing program in Arizona, laid off a majority of its testers, and is now engaged in delicate negotiations with Pennsylvania officials to restart its public testing. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Riding in Waymo One, the Google spinoff’s first self-driving taxi service," 5 Dec. 2018 Although the couple didn't publicly address the speculation, this may be Campbell's nonchalant way of shutting down the gossip. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Naomi Campbell Shuts Down Pregnancy Speculation with an Epic Bikini Instagram," 1 Aug. 2018 This week, the task of shutting down LA for a full match will be much tougher. Dan Shulman,, "Galaxy of stars await Revolution," 14 July 2018 With Verizon shutting down its costly app, the shortform content community looks to sports (and Jeffrey Katzenberg?). Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "After Go90's Collapse, Who's Buying "Snackable" TV Now?," 12 July 2018 Instead of shutting down catcher Bobby Wilson, who entered the game with a .141 batting average, Sparkman watched as Wilson roped a double into the left-field corner and drove in his second run of the afternoon. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Unable to keep early lead vs. Twins, Royals drop another series," 11 July 2018 And Bon Marche Brasserie lasted a year before shutting down. Justin Phillips,, "Splashy Dirty Water closes after just three years in Mid-Market," 3 July 2018 The deals were made after Gov. Rick Snyder backed off from shutting down 38 schools, including 25 in Detroit. Alice Yin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's new education budget could mean looming school closures," 30 June 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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Learn More about shutdown

Dictionary Entries near shutdown


shut away

shut down





Statistics for shutdown

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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to enclose within walls

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