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

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 Yet, the brief shutdown of select services bore material financial consequences. Noah Barsky, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 And now, a complete shutdown of one of the T’s busiest lines going into the busiest time of the year. Elizabeth Koh,, 7 Aug. 2022 As well as stopping the transport of goods and aid into Gaza, the shutdown — which entered its third day on Thursday — has also prevented workers from crossing into Israel. Reuters, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 But many people who work in criminal justice are zeroing in on another possible factor: the extended shutdown of so much of the court system, the institution at the heart of public order. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, 19 July 2022 Here are the reasons Russia will turn the gas back on for Germany after the 10-day maintenance shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which would normally be expected to end the middle of this week. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 19 July 2022 Thousands of people on Saturday braved police curfew, fuel shortage and a shutdown of public trains to ​​descend on the capital, Colombo, to register their fury over the government’s inability to address a crippling economic crisis. New York Times, 9 July 2022 The current plan is to install the new system during the Gemini Center’s annual facility maintenance and cleaning shutdown, scheduled for Aug. 22 through Sept. 5. John Benson, cleveland, 6 July 2022 In early 2020, the company announced the shutdown of its international trips, a move that had been planned before the pandemic made international travel virtually impossible for most customers anyway. Steve Larese, Outside Online, 5 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Phoenix airport is shut down as of Monday, according to a representative on the airport’s customer hotline, after nearly all passenger flights to and from Sanya, which is located on an island, have been canceled since Saturday. Karen Hao, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 have been shut down in Milwaukee after a driver was injured in a shooting Sunday evening. Elliot Hughes, Journal Sentinel, 8 Aug. 2022 The area’s airspace was shut down, and navigation along that stretch of the waterway as well as traffic on a railway line and state road close by were halted. Reuters, NBC News, 8 Aug. 2022 Conner Street in downtown Noblesville will be shut down in sections for three months next year for an Indiana Department of Transportation road repaving project, adding to a busy orange barrel season. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Aug. 2022 Authorities have ordered some online memorial pages to be shut down. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2022 Residents who live near the pipeline and some state lawmakers have said Mariner East should be shut down entirely, but the administration of outgoing Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has ignored such calls. Michael Rubinkam, ajc, 5 Aug. 2022 Since last year, Meta has shut down an examination into how falsehoods are amplified in political ads on Facebook by indefinitely banishing the researchers from the site. Amanda Seitz, Chicago Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022 The website was shut down in 2021 and sold, with the domain being handed over to over to anti-bullying site, founded by activist James McGibney. Alicia Vrajlal,, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of shutdown


1888, in the meaning defined above


1779, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Learn More About shutdown

Time Traveler for shutdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of shutdown was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near shutdown

shut down



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shutdown

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shutdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on shutdown

Nglish: Translation of shutdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shutdown for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!