shut·​off | \ ˈshət-ˌȯf How to pronounce shutoff (audio) \

Definition of shutoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

shut off

shut off; shutting off; shuts 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The utility now has a section on its website that breaks down a seven-day potential for power shutoffs across nine geographic zones in its service territory. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Why is this TV fan on a hunger strike to save her favorite show?," 28 Aug. 2019 Criticism of politicking, power shutoffs Brandt has faced criticism from state utility regulators who requested the companies disclose political spending in recent elections, which Pinnacle West did earlier this year. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "APS CEO Don Brandt to retire in November; Jeff Guldner to become new CEO of Pinnacle West," 21 Aug. 2019 Since the shutoff program was approved by California regulators in May, PG&E has turned off power due to fire risk in two areas. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "PG&E fire-safety shutdowns: ‘We’re all freaking out about it’," 23 June 2019 Some customers have complained SDG&E is too quick to cut off power, and others have said the shutoffs appear to be random. Rob Nikolewski, Ramona Sentinel, "SDG&E ramps up fire safety efforts," 19 Aug. 2019 By installing a solar + storage system in the house, the homeowner can reduce if not even eliminate the impact of a PG&E power shutoff, whether it was planned or the result of equipment failure or natural disaster. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Solar + storage systems offer energy control to homeowners," 15 Aug. 2019 Some customers have complained SDG&E is too quick to cut off power and others have said the shutoffs appear to be random. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ahead of peak wildfire season, SDG&E and local officials ramp up safety efforts," 7 Aug. 2019 The shutoffs have already begun and will likely become more frequent. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 People angered by the fatal shutoff and other APS issues took the opportunity to heckle anyone who would attend an event to honor Brandt. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Arizona business group gives APS CEO Don Brandt big award; protesters blame him for woman's death," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While resources are limited, all three said federal prisoners are not totally shut off from the outside world. Catherine Kim, Vox, "We asked 3 prisoners about the movement to give them voting rights," 20 Aug. 2019 The city shut off the water, and the water main was fixed by 7 p.m., Johnson said. Lisa J. Huriash,, "FPL again blamed for water disruption," 20 Aug. 2019 Once Eversource crews were able to shut off power to the lines, firefighters freed two of the three passengers still trapped in the car and five of the car’s occupants were rushed to the hospital, Booth said. Zach Murdock,, "Packed car crashes in Stamford, killing 2 teens, injuring others, police say," 26 Aug. 2019 That would likely shut off the public from learning specific information about how the state treated the children, who ranged in age from 18 months to 17 years old when the federal lawsuit was filed in April. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Oregon officials want to seal off much of federal child welfare lawsuit from public view," 22 Aug. 2019 Firefighters eventually extricated the man from the vehicle but had to wait five to 10 minutes for Seattle City Light technicians to shut off power to the live wires surrounding the crash, Seattle Fire spokesman David Cuerpo said. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Driver hits 7-year-old on sidewalk, crashes into power pole in Magnolia," 15 July 2019 At its peak, the New York City blackout shut off power to about 73,000 customers in Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side, officials with the utility company Con Edison said. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "How the city that never sleeps kept going when the lights went out," 14 July 2019 In December 2015, a Russian intelligence unit shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in western Ukraine. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid," 15 June 2019 In an effort to avoid the kinds of fires started by downed power lines and other malfunctions, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. temporarily shut off power early Saturday to thousands of customers in Yolo, Napa and Solano counties as a safety precaution. Alexa Díaz,, "Fire weather arrives in L.A. as firefighters battle blaze in Yolo County," 10 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of shutoff


1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1818, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shutoff

Statistics for shutoff

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shutoff

The first known use of shutoff was in 1818

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on shutoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shutoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shutoff

Comments on shutoff

What made you want to look up shutoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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