\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Michigan State Police tweeted that the freeway is shut indefinitely while an accident reconstructionist works to figure out how the crash happened and clear the scene. Detroit Free Press, 23 June 2022 The defense attorney cited the testimony of two school secretaries who said Hays’ door was almost never shut. oregonlive, 6 June 2022 One-touch access to things like switching scenes, adjusting volume levels, or launching media or a gaming macro can be a lifesaver in the stressful world of live video, and the laptop even makes the controls usable if the clamshell is shut. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 23 May 2022 The government’s own data shows that 5,907 businesses registered as micro, small, and medium enterprises were shut during financial years 2020-’21 and 2021-’22. Mitali Mukherjee, Quartz, 19 May 2022 Thornton Johnson's husband, Jimmy Johnson, had taken their three dogs outside tbefore going to bed, and thinks the door didn't shut completely. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, 15 May 2022 But, with cloud cover lingering through Friday afternoon the door is shut on a light show for New Englanders. Charlie Mckenna,, 30 Mar. 2022 This small shack on 11th Street in the Heights is shut most of the year, but its doors fling open and its social media comes back to life as soon as crawfish season starts. Emma Balter, Chron, 10 Mar. 2022 The cable car station was permanently shut, but today a new terminal is being built. Inna Lazareva, Town & Country, 9 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The shortfalls are even greater in the Middle East, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia, where many international borders remain shut. Anurag Kotoky, Fortune, 15 Oct. 2021 In India’s rural districts, experts wonder why schools remain shut. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 4 Aug. 2021 Clubs remain shut, hoping to soon reopen as Operation Blue Freedom picks up pace. Elinda Labropoulou, CNN, 1 June 2021 Bars and restaurants are open, while adhering to social distancing rules, but nightclubs remain shut. CNN, 30 Apr. 2021 Some parents also face child care problems because their kids' schools remain shut. John Phelan, Star Tribune, 27 Apr. 2021 As schools remain shut, millions of women have had to leave the workforce. World Economic Forum, Forbes, 10 Mar. 2021 McCreary is also wary of what happens when some campuses start to reopen in the fall while others remain shut. Chris Quintana, USA Today, 27 Mar. 2021 Elementary schools reopened this month, but all other schools and universities remain shut. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, 18 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Whispery tinkling piano keys or acoustic guitar strums that erupt into mounting vocals and crunching guitars, singers with eyes screwed shut, unleashing their guts. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 22 June 2022 The woman’s eyes were pasted shut with what appeared to be wheat glue. Okwiri Oduor, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 In the last year, Cruz said, Golden State had been threatened frequently with shut-outs. John Francis Peters, ProPublica, 16 June 2022 The man's back is pinned against the passenger seat, and his eyes are squeezed shut. John Blake, CNN, 11 June 2022 The school’s booster club president and a PTA member both raised concerns at the time that Hays was meeting with students with the door shut and his office blinds drawn, Healy noted. oregonlive, 6 June 2022 When his casket shut closed and a hymn began, the room erupted in grief. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 31 May 2022 Fold or clip the top of the bag shut, which will seal the ethylene inside. Beth Branch, Country Living, 26 May 2022 There is also a nightclub scene with a dancer who has his eyes and lips sewn shut and ears all over his body. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About shut

Time Traveler for shut

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near shut



shut away

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Statistics for shut

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for shut


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on shut

Nglish: Translation of shut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shut for Arabic Speakers


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