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

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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

Tented booths at San Diego Gas & Electric’s recent Wildfire Mitigation & Resiliency Fair gave people an opportunity to learn about SDG&E’s fire safety programs, public safety power shutoffs and how to be prepared for emergencies. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Experts share strategies at wildfire preparedness fair," 16 Sep. 2019 Last month, Wiener and other senators grilled the company about its shutoff calculus at a five-hour hearing at the state Capitol. Dustin Gardiner,, "Wiener proposes legislation to limit PG&E shutoffs," 6 Sep. 2019 Because that now includes transmission lines, those shutoffs could affect customers well away from those areas. Mallory Moench,, "FCC pressures cell service providers to prepare for California wildfire power shutoffs," 16 Sep. 2019 Its automatic engine shutoff when idling is nearly imperceptible. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "Why the new Ford Explorer has more in common with BMW and Mercedes," 19 June 2019 Its automatic engine shutoff when idling is nearly imperceptible. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Ford Explorer's new RWD changes everything for the better," 18 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One of the most popular treks to Mount Jefferson is back open, more than two years after a wildfire shut off public access., "Popular Mount Jefferson hiking trail reopened 2 years after fire," 1 Aug. 2019 The pilot descended to 35,000 feet to shut off the alarm, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Michelle Hunter,, "Vaping passenger sets off smoke alarm on Spirit Airlines flight to New Orleans," 8 June 2019 Most recently, Argosy University in Eagan closed after federal regulators shut off student aid saying the school hadn’t properly distributed it to students. Christopher Magan, Twin Cities, "Globe University, Minnesota School of Business students should get loan refunds, appeals court rules," 3 June 2019 Their lander, named Beresheet, came extremely close before a software glitch caused the main engine to shut off at the last minute. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceIL Will Try Again After Last Week's Failed Moon Landing," 15 Apr. 2019 Various technologies have been demonstrated that have speed approaching that of current RAM chips but can hold on to the memory when the power shuts off—all without the long-term degradation that flash experiences. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 One day, the blood pressure of a woman with eclampsia was skyrocketing when the electricity shut off. Wendy Grossman Kantor,, "Doctor Brings 'Solar Suitcases' to 'Light Every Birth' in Hospitals Without Steady Electric," 1 Sep. 2019 Additional legislation would expand notification periods before power companies shut off electricity to customers, especially to health care facilities and first responders, during times of high fire risk. Julie Cart, The Mercury News, "What to know as California’s peak fire months loom," 30 Aug. 2019 Rollins’ group is promoting legislation — specifically the U.S. House version of the Hot Cars Act of 2019 — which would mandate systems to detect back-seat occupants after the engine shuts off. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Kids are dying in hot cars at an alarming rate; safety agency tweets for awareness," 15 Aug. 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.

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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

11 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for shutoff

The first known use of shutoff was in 1818

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shutoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shutoff

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