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

The shutdown will affect trolley routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36, all of which will be diverted to the 40th and Market Street station. Katherine Nails,, "SEPTA's Center City trolley tunnel to close for 9-day maintenance 'blitz'," 12 July 2018 But what best defines DeSantis’ ideology is his membership in the House Freedom Caucus, which steered the federal government to the brink of shutdown three years ago over President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Emily L. Mahoney, miamiherald, "What does the Congressional voting record of this GOP candidate for governor tell us?," 5 July 2018 New Jersey lawmakers are moving to keep the state’s parks and beaches open in the event of a government shutdown this weekend. Kate King, WSJ, "With Government Shutdown Looming, Lawmakers Try to Keep New Jersey Beaches Open," 28 June 2018 As part of the Aquila shutdown, Facebook also halted its work developing areas appropriate for its craft’s specific needs to take off and land at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Facebook Kills Solar-Powered Drones for Internet Service," 26 June 2018 That heads off the possibility of a school shutdown this year and gives school districts certainty about funding for the upcoming school year. Dion Lefler, Hunter Woodall, Katy Bergen And Suzanne Tobias, kansascity, "Kansas school funding still inadequate, Supreme Court says," 25 June 2018 News of the shutdown was reported first by writer and technologist Owen Williams. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Instapaper is temporarily shutting off access for European users due to GDPR," 23 May 2018 Norment has downplayed concerns of a government shutdown while blaming House Republicans for any delays. Washington Post, "No speedy end in sight in Virginia budget impasse," 13 May 2018 This will anger their sponsors, but probably reduces the odds of another government shutdown when the stopgap spending bill enacted in February expires. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Immigration, Obamacare Fixes Left Out As Giant Spending Bill Shambles Toward Passage," 20 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Police shut down vehicle traffic in the area as fans took to the streets. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "Perspective / News / LGBTQ+ Pride double standard? Bars upset after police forced some to close early after parade," 29 June 2018 Leitão declined to name specific candidates, but did shut down one rumor: Brazilian legend Kaká will not be taking a position with Orlando City. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão lays out timeline for new coach, no position for Kaká," 19 June 2018 In June 2015, the ponding of water in the middle of South Beach was so extensive that the Lake County Health Department threatened to shut down the facility on the cusp of Independence Day weekend. Dan Moran, Lake County News-Sun, "Moran: Waukegan trucks in 700 tons of sand to fill giant, germy beach puddle," 1 June 2018 The helicopters were to be landing at the Churchville Recreation Center and Route 22 was shut down. The Aegis, "Four hurt seriously in Churchville crash Thursday night," 25 May 2018 Boston once had the oldest mounted police force in the country, but it was shut down by then-Mayor Thomas N. Menino in 2009 as part of a wave of budget cuts. Jon Chesto,, "Groups split over whether to revive Boston’s mounted police unit," 6 July 2018 And in every budget standoff except one, DeSantis voted to shut down the government rather than agree to a major spending package. Emily L. Mahoney, miamiherald, "What does the Congressional voting record of this GOP candidate for governor tell us?," 5 July 2018 He was shut down again and given a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Elbow surgery ends the season for Mariners’ top pitching prospect Sam Carlson," 3 July 2018 The cooling tower on Towers Residential Suites remains shut down. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne State contractors diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease," 2 July 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

7 Oct 2018

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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