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


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

During the shutdown last month, Mr. Trump complained to conservative allies that Mr. Ryan should have pushed harder for wall funds. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "How the Border Wall, Trump’s Signature Campaign Promise, Turned Into a National Emergency," 15 Feb. 2019 National Diaper Bank This organization is comprised of more than 200 local diaper banks, and is seeing a massive increase in need during the shutdown. Donate here. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How to Help Federal Workers During the Government Shutdown," 25 Jan. 2019 Among the 800,000 federal employees deprived of a paycheck during the government's partial shutdown, aviation workers have warned that their lack of compensation imperils the safety of anyone boarding a U.S. commercial flight. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Flight Attendants Union President: Government Shutdown Is 'Disaster' for Aviation Safety," 24 Jan. 2019 Workers removed fats from the digesters and other tanks during the shutdown and since that time, the tribe has invested more than $300,000 in equipment upgrades to boost efficiency of the digesters and prevent further problems, Crawford said. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Potawatomi's $20 million waste-to-energy plant violated wastewater permit with excessive discharges," 12 Apr. 2018 The staffing shortages come as the government has been shutdown for over a month, with 800,000 federal workers receiving their second paycheck for $0 on Friday since the freeze went into effect. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Major Airports Face Staffing Shortages and Delays Amid Government Shutdown," 25 Jan. 2019 The partial government shutdown, which closed many federal offices for a record-setting 35 days, did little to dent a robust U.S. labor market. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Shutdown Had Little Impact on Strong Jobs Picture," 1 Feb. 2019 Cardi B has thoughts on the government shutdown, which, at 27 days, is now the longest in U.S. history. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cardi B's Impassioned Government Shutdown Video Even Had Lawmakers Talking," 17 Jan. 2019 The shutdown, which Zabaneh expected will last through the end of next week, has sent downtown San Francisco into chaos. Fox News, "Second cracked beam found at $2B San Francisco's 'Grand Central'," 28 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Insterstate 41 near Kewaskum is shut down from a major crash and is expected to remain closed for another three to four hours, the Washington County Sheriff's Department says. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Major crash shuts down Interstate 41 near Kewaskum," 14 July 2018 ComEd shut down power before 11 a.m. and plans were underway to pull the air and smoke out of the building Monday evening, McKay said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Electrical fire causes evacuation of Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa," 9 July 2018 If that’s not heeded within 20 to 30 seconds, the scooter will slowly shut down and have to be removed from the area before it can be ridden again. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Downtown gets the Bird with fun-to-ride scooters," 5 July 2018 Rebecca Smithers of the Guardian reports that three out of five major CO2 producers shut down recently, though one of them resumed operations on Monday. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Carbon Dioxide Shortage Is Threatening the U.K.’s Supply of Beer and Crumpets," 3 July 2018 In the 70s, there were continued efforts to shut down Oakland’s pool halls. Boots Riley, HWD, "Sorry to Bother You Director Boots Riley Takes a Ride Through Oakland’s Changing Landscape," 2 July 2018 Rybka said the most recent run began in January and will continue into this summer, when it will be shut down for maintenance. Douglas Messier,, "Super-Sensitive Device Seeks Axions, Proposed Dark Matter Particles," 2 July 2018 It's shown how easy to is to completely shut down an airport using a 21st century toy and how little there is to effectively deter it. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "We Still Have No Idea How to Deal With Drones," 21 Dec. 2018 Soon, sparks fly between Kelly and out-of-town widower Leo (Brennan), who turns out to be a corporate VIP considering shutting down the beloved lodge and replacing it with a shopping center. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'Christmas at Grand Valley' Was Filmed at a Rustic Lodge You Can Visit," 21 Dec. 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

11 Mar 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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