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

Complicating matters is the possibility of another government shutdown. Jason Davis, NBC News, "NASA's Artemis program will return astronauts to the moon and give us the first female moonwalker," 11 June 2019 Two men were shot Thursday night near the northbound I-94 ramp to southbound I-57, leading to a shutdown of the ramp, according to Illinois State Police. Morgan Greene,, "I-94 shooting shuts down ramp to I-57," 6 June 2019 During a segment of Wednesday's The View, Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, and the other cohosts discussed the thousands of federal workers who have gone without pay for the duration of the now-34-day-long government shutdown. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch 'The View' Star Whoopi Goldberg Totally School Abby Huntsman on Wednesday's Show," 24 Jan. 2019 On Day 34 of the government shutdown, the Trump administration showed its white wealthy bonafides. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "With Ill-Conceived Government Shutdown Commentary, Wilbur Ross and Lara Trump Prove Just How Out of Touch They Are," 24 Jan. 2019 The Violence Against Women Act has lapsed as part of the government shutdown. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should You Attend the Women's March?," 16 Jan. 2019 On January 8, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office to discuss his demands for $5.7 billion in government funding for the border wall and border security, which has been at the center of the ongoing government shutdown. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Trump Claims Undocumented Immigrants Threaten National Security. Here's Why He's Wrong," 9 Jan. 2019 The conversation, which was televised, quickly turned heated and ultimately ended without a compromise—but with the President accepting and owning the possibility of government shutdown. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Nancy Pelosi's Red Coat Was Such a Moment, It's Coming Back to Stores in 2019," 12 Dec. 2018 Advertisement In 2013, women pulled America out of a government shutdown., "It's Time To Retire The “Year of the Woman”," 8 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shortly after, the state moved to shut down the clinic, citing safety concerns. Andrea González-ramírez,, "Missouri Is Forcing Women Who Want Abortions To Undergo Unnecessary Pelvic Exams," 8 June 2019 That all ended two years ago when the county shut down the decaying Waltz Road Bridge that leads into the small Wayne County community of New Boston. Kristi Tanner,, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION Thank heavens: They finally got their bridge fixed; many communities still suffer," 7 June 2019 The after-hours club where the alleged incident began has since been shut down due to multiple drug and liquor violations, prosecutors said. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Former deputy charged with sexual assault may have more victims, police say," 7 June 2019 Brandon Oland, a spokesman for the school system, said technology staff have since shut down that ability to share and are looking to see who might have tried to search the system and what information might have been seen. Liz Bowie,, "A Baltimore County school computer system was open to internal searches," 6 June 2019 Four employees were taken to the hospital later that afternoon when the Orlando Fire Department responded at 4:44 p.m. The rides reportedly closed early around 6 p.m. Sunday before the entire park shut down, some Universal employees said. Gabrielle Russon,, "Volcano Bay guest reported shocks hours before Universal closed water park. OSHA is investigating.," 5 June 2019 The club shut down during World War I. In 1917, the Lazaretto was established as a seaplane base and marina, first by a private owner, and then by the U.S. Army. Inga Saffron,, "This building on the Delaware River saved immigrant lives for 95 years. Now it’s been rescued by Tinicum Twp. | Inga Saffron," 4 June 2019 When Napster shut down in 2001, peer-to-peer services like Limewire came into prominence, but contained so much malware that a meme persists about its pitfalls to this day. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "iTunes Is Dead. Let's Pay Our Respects," 3 June 2019 Therefore, the company took immediate action to address the situation and shut down... Geoffrey Rogow, WSJ, "First American Financial Exposed Customers’ Data," 24 May 2019

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

17 Jun 2019

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

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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