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

The Senate passes a budget deal that will hopefully prevent a future government shutdown; massive wildfires in Russia could have global impact. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Crisis averted — kind of," 2 Aug. 2019 The reptile had been spotted peeking its head above the water by park visitors last week, with cops confirming its presence in the Humboldt Park lagoon after a brief investigation, which forced a partial shutdown of the park. Helen Murphy,, "Officials Investigating Report of Alligator Sighting in Connecticut City," 18 July 2019 There was also some concern that a looming government shutdown might affect operations this weekend. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch its final Falcon 9 rocket of the year for the Air Force," 21 Dec. 2018 The bonus holiday coincides with a looming partial government shutdown anticipated to kick in on Friday if the executive and legislative branches cannot agree on a new funding deal before the deadline. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's What It Means That Christmas Eve Is a Federal Holiday This Year," 21 Dec. 2018 President Donald Trump has signed an $854 billion spending bill to keep the federal government open through Dec. 7, averting a government shutdown in the weeks leading up to the November midterm elections. Fox News, "Trump signs spending plan, avoiding shutdown," 28 Sep. 2018 The shutdown has rendered unusable a crucial artery for moving people and goods around a large span of coastal Alaska. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska ferry service remains suspended as union enters second day of strike," 26 July 2019 The shortfall results in part from the long partial shutdown of the government this winter, which hit just as the Interior Department would normally have been recruiting and training seasonal firefighters. Los Angeles Times, "Impeachment, always a longshot, fades in wake of Mueller hearing," 26 July 2019 The report, required as part of last year’s Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act following the emergency shutdown of the Baltimore Metro Subway, identifies $5.7 billion in necessary spending between now and 2028. Colin Campbell,, "Maryland Transit Administration forecasts $2 billion shortfall over next decade," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Medallion Foundation, an aviation oversight organization that grants safety distinctions to Alaska air carriers, will shut down in September, the organization said. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Aviation safety auditor Medallion Foundation to close in September," 18 Aug. 2019 About 30 protesters first shut down the main entrance to the prison by linking arms and sitting on the ground, Anthony said. Tim Elfrink, Washington Post, "Lou Dobbs: Guard who drove into ICE protesters was ‘within his rights’," 16 Aug. 2019 Twitter users reported that police shut down the promotion as early as 9:30 a.m. due to the disturbance during rush-hour traffic. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Amazon's 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' 30-Cent Gas Promotion Shut Down by Santa Monica PD," 15 Aug. 2019 Earlier Tuesday, the airport announced that all check-in services for departing flights would be shut down. NBC News, "Hong Kong protesters clash with police at airport," 13 Aug. 2019 The Office of Emergency Management tweeted that the left tube for the southbound tunnel was shut down for a period of time and urged drivers to find an alternate route. Mckenna Oxenden,, "Car fire in Fort McHenry Tunnel causes major rush hour delays," 13 Aug. 2019 Police expect the road to be shut down through the afternoon commute, Sgt. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "1 killed, 3 injured in Phoenix crash, causing road closures," 13 Aug. 2019 Another work standard, dictating how employees should shut down machines to repair them, was about 25 pages long. Christopher Leonard, ProPublica, "Rising Profits, Rising Injuries: The Safety Crisis at Koch Industries’ Georgia-Pacific," 8 Aug. 2019 Another work standard, dictating how employees should shut down machines to repair them, was about 25 pages long. Fortune, "Rising Profits, Rising Injuries: Koch Industries Faces a Safety Crisis at Georgia-Pacific," 8 Aug. 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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Learn More about shutdown

Dictionary Entries near shutdown


shut away

shut down





Statistics for shutdown

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shutdown

The first known use of shutdown was in 1779

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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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of or relating to the heavens

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