shut·off | \ˈshət-ˌȯf \

Definition of shutoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something (such as a valve) that shuts off

shut off


Definition of shut off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to close off : separate usually used with from shut off from the rest of the world

2a : to cut off (a flow or passage) : stop shuts off the oxygen supply

b : to stop the operation of (something, such as a machine) shut the motor off

intransitive verb

: to cease operating : stop shuts off automatically

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Examples of shutoff in a Sentence


the utility company threatened them with the shutoff of electricity if the bills weren't paid


threatened to shut off peace talks if the other side kept making unreasonable demands shut off the computer to save electricity
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While there are no national data on shutoffs, some utilities say their numbers are rising. David Harrison, WSJ, "Why Your Water Bill Is Rising Much Faster Than Inflation," 15 Mar. 2018 An Oakland program has enabled the utility district to reduce the number of shutoffs to 10,952 last year from 13,400 in 2014, according to EBMUD General Manager Alexander Coate. David Harrison, WSJ, "Why Your Water Bill Is Rising Much Faster Than Inflation," 15 Mar. 2018 There is also evidence that the Atlantic circulation is weakening again, although scientists certainly do not think a total shutoff is imminent, and are still debating the causes of what is being observed. Christopher Mooney,, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 Some exceptions Hand watering with a spray nozzle that has an automatic shutoff valve is always allowed. Mark Skoneki,, "Why do Central Floridians water their lawns during rain storms? Let nature keep the grass green," 6 July 2018 Another round of shutoffs happened on Dec. 14 and 15, hitting 650 customers. David R. Baker,, "For PG&E, cutting power could prevent fires and save lives — and costs," 23 June 2018 Water shortages are a familiar challenge for large cities in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil: São Paulo, a city of 12 million people, came within 20 days of a complete shutoff in 2015, but was saved in the nick of time by rains. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Cape Town’s Water Crisis Should Be a Warning to the World," 6 Feb. 2018 Administrative officials are also increasing water shutoffs for residents with outstanding balances for more than seven months. Fox News, "Flint implements programs to keep water fund out of the red," 17 May 2018 But opponents of the shutoff program say that the city should instead focus on creating a water-affordability plan. Anne Branigin, The Root, "More Than 17,000 Detroit Homes at Risk for Water Shutoff: Report," 26 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In April 2017, under international pressure, the government shut off power at the Hazaribagh tanneries, ordering them to move to a new tannery industrial complex in Savar. Washington Post, "Toxic tanneries forced to move pollute new Bangladesh site," 6 July 2018 La Sota presented several pieces of evidence to make his case: electrical service to Shooter's apartment was shut off in February, and his mail was forwarded to Phoenix. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "It's final: Don Shooter will be on ballot for Arizona Legislature, Supreme Court says," 27 June 2018 At my previous job at a major tech company, 6pm was what 3 or 4pm here is and the auto-shut off happened at 8:30pm. Fortune, "Workday, Inc.," 26 June 2018 The port will still function after the update, but will shut off data an hour after a phone is locked if the correct password isn't entered. NBC News, "Apple closes iPhone security gap used by law enforcement," 14 June 2018 Both of these options will be cut off in December, and the in-game microtransaction purchases that help power those on-demand plays have already been shut off. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Guitar Hero Live goes offline in December, making 92% of songs unplayable," 5 June 2018 To protect smelt from getting sucked into the pumps, they often get throttled back or shut off altogether. Ryan Sabalow And Dale Kasler, sacbee, "These fish are at the heart of California's water debate. But extinction could be close," 1 June 2018 As with other traditional hybrids, the gasoline engine shuts off automatically whenever the car comes to a stop, and the vehicle can start moving again on battery power alone for a bit before the engine kicks back on. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 The excitement has even moved tennis officials at Wimbledon to soften their policy requiring phones be shut off during matches to allow fans at Centre Court to watch the soccer games, albeit without the sound. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "World Cup Brings England Together at a Time of Division," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shutoff.' 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 shutoff


1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1818, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for shutoff

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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The first known use of shutoff was in 1818

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