\ ˈshət How to pronounce shut (audio) \
shut; shutting

Definition of shut

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to move into position to close an opening shut the lid
b : to prevent entrance to or passage to or from
2 : to confine by or as if by enclosure shut herself in her study
3 : to fasten with a lock or bolt
4 : to close by bringing enclosing or covering parts together shut the eyes
5 : to cause to cease or suspend an operation or activity often used with down

intransitive verb

1 : to close itself or become closed flowers that shut at night
2 : to cease or suspend an operation or activity often used with down

Definition of shut (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : closed, fastened, or folded together
2 : rid, clear, free usually used with of



Definition of shut (Entry 3 of 3)

: the act of shutting

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Synonyms & Antonyms for shut

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of shut in a Sentence

Verb He shut his eyes and went to sleep. She shut the book loudly. I accidentally shut the door on her fingers. flowers that shut at night The door shut slowly behind me. The owner is shutting the pub for the weekend. They plan to shut the factory by the end of the year. Adjective She listened to the music with her eyes shut. Check to make sure that all the windows are shut.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The defense is banged up and they’re not built to shut good offenses down anyway. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "The problems were more than the offensive line: Browns rewatch observations," 20 Oct. 2020 Though Singapore shut its borders months ago, the Southeast Asian trading center has been gradually easing restrictions to allow foreigners to transit to other countries through its airport, Bloomberg News reported. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "One of the world's longest flights, New York to Singapore, to return. Hopeful sign for air travel?," 20 Oct. 2020 The traditional way to signal your house isn’t open to sugar-hungry kiddos is to turn off porch lights and keep your door shut. Laura Hensley,, "Is Halloween Cancelled? Here’s What Canadian Health Authorities Say," 20 Oct. 2020 With schools, colleges, and other educational institutions shut due to the pandemic, online education has caught on like wildfire in India. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Four Indian startups joined the unicorn club during the coronavirus pandemic," 19 Oct. 2020 Last week, the Czech Republic shut schools, restaurants and bars through early November. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, "Euro Optimism Wanes Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases," 19 Oct. 2020 The mass transit operators were ordered to shut some services over the weekend amid the demonstrations. Anuchit Nguyen,, "Thai Stocks Slump to Six-Month Low as Protests Cloud Outlook," 19 Oct. 2020 With workplaces and schools shut, parks are filled with families and exercise groups. Washington Post, "Israel ordered a second lockdown in response to coronavirus resurgence. It’s not going so well.," 18 Oct. 2020 There’s something to be said for a Black man who walks into a job amid an avalanche of unfair criticism only to shut doubters up with sustained excellence. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona State coach Herm Edwards represents the answer to the NFL's head coaching problem," 17 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some of the main entrances will remain shut, shoppers will be required to wear face masks, and hand sanitizer and sneeze barriers will be everywhere. Jordyn Holman,, "Retailers Brace for a Black Friday Without Crowds," 7 Oct. 2020 Of those that remain shut, 200 are located in the United States, 11 are in Israel and six are in the United Kingdom. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "James Bond's 'No Time To Die' has been delayed until 2021 in fresh blow to Hollywood," 3 Oct. 2020 Of those that remain shut, 200 are located in the United States, 11 are in Israel and six are in the United Kingdom. Streisand Neto, CNN, "The world's second biggest movie theater chain is struggling to survive the pandemic," 24 Sep. 2020 While schools remain shut, restrictions have been lifted on most other activities as the government tries to revive the battered economy. David Hall And Jon Kamp, WSJ, "New U.S. Coronavirus Infections Slow as Labor Day Holiday Winds Down," 7 Sep. 2020 By Kilo is catering to more than 10,000 customers even as its stores remain shut. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Pesky forwards aside, WhatsApp is now a lifeline for many small businesses in India," 25 Aug. 2020 Downtown merchants worry that the prolonged absence of office workers will cripple the local economy, and many stores and restaurants in the area remain shut. Roland Li,, "Salesforce extends work from home option until at least August 2021," 19 Aug. 2020 Abbott has said that unless Texas gets below that number, bars are likely to stay shut. Arkansas Online, "Texas testing drops as schools reopen, prepare for football," 15 Aug. 2020 Abbott has said that unless Texas gets below that number, bars are likely to stay shut. Paul J. Weber, Houston Chronicle, "As kids return to school and football players’ hopes soar, health officials worry there’s not enough coronavirus testing going on," 15 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Unpaid bills from the carmaker prompted the shut-off. Sarah Syed,, "Tesla Plant Construction Can Resume as Water Blockade Lifts," 17 Oct. 2020 This heated mattress pad is machine-washable, has a 10-hour auto shut-off and a five-setting temperature control, with controllers for both sides of the bed. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "The best electric blankets to keep you extra cozy this fall," 16 Oct. 2020 In one of the latest edition of CBS News COVID Chronicles, CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell re-visits the battleground state of Michigan, to explore how matters have changed regarding a moratorium on water shut-offs in the city of Detroit. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump campaign launches ad blitz encouraging vote by mail," 16 Oct. 2020 His platform includes a permanent ban on evictions and utility shut-offs for anyone who lost work during the pandemic and significantly shrinking the size of the police department. Washington Post, "In a crowded D.C. Council field, stark choices about the direction of a liberal city," 14 Oct. 2020 This Panasonic has many of the same features as the Panasonic 360º, like fingertip controls, automatic shut-off, a base with a retractable cord and a carrying case, but its size and soleplate are more like that of a traditional iron. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2020, According to Cleaning Experts," 12 Oct. 2020 Consumer advocates braced for a harsh return to utility shut-offs, after the statewide moratorium on disconnections came to an end in mid-August. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "A rule that has saved Hoosiers from having their utilities shut off expires Monday," 11 Oct. 2020 Utility companies could soon send termination notices to Marylanders who are behind on their bills, as a months-long moratorium on shut-offs comes to an end. Alison Knezevich,, "Utilities can send shutoff notices to Maryland homes starting this week. But help is available.," 28 Sep. 2020 Phoenix is permanently eliminating water shut-offs for single-family residential customers. Paulina Pineda, The Arizona Republic, "2 metro Phoenix cities will resume shut-offs for delinquent utility customers. Here's a rundown by city," 20 Sep. 2020

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shut


Middle English shetten, shutten, from Old English scyttan; akin to Middle Dutch schutten to shut in, Old English scēotan to shoot — more at shoot

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Time Traveler for shut

Time Traveler

The first known use of shut was before the 12th century

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Statistics for shut

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for shut


How to pronounce shut (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to close (something)
: to become closed
: to stop the services or activities of (a business, school, etc.) for a period of time or forever

English Language Learners Definition of shut (Entry 2 of 2)

: not open
British : not operating or open to the public


\ ˈshət How to pronounce shut (audio) \
shut; shutting

Kids Definition of shut

1 : to close or become closed She shut the book loudly. The door shuts by itself.
2 : to stop or cause to stop operation She shut down the computer. Shut off the TV.
3 : to confine by or as if by enclosing or by blocking the way out Guards shut the thieves in a jail cell.
4 : to close by bringing parts together Don't look! Shut your eyes!
shut out
1 : to keep (something) from entering Curtains shut out the sun.
2 : to keep (an opponent) from scoring in a game
shut up
: to stop talking

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Comments on shut

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