\ 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 But as in Hollywood, the close-mindedness of the U.K. entertainment industry kept doors maddeningly shut. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 Sonic the Hedgehog earned $149 million domestic and $319 million worldwide on an $82 million budget in February of 2020, a month before Covid shut everything down. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 See-sawing prices declined as demand fell when businesses were shut to slow the spread of COVID-19. Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant, 8 Aug. 2022 Well, goody for her, Shura thought, and shut her laptop. Sana Krasikov, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 That would include Berkley Commons LLC, which owns the apartment complex that experienced a water-shut-off in February this year. The Indianapolis Star, 6 Aug. 2022 When the driver shut offs the vehicle, a reminder pops up on the instrument panel to check the rear seat. Morgan Korn, ABC News, 6 Aug. 2022 Since China shut its international borders in early 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19, Hainan's duty-free industry has boomed, becoming a vital channel for global brands from Gucci to Coach, La Mer to L'Oreal to reach Chinese shoppers. Fox News, 5 Aug. 2022 Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families say a verdict, expected this week in the first trial, could send a signal to other conspiracy purveyors about the cost of online lies and set into motion a chain of events that could shut Infowars down. Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times, 31 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Schools and many businesses remain shut, while ordinary citizens wait days in mile-long lines for gas. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 20 July 2022 When the commander gives the sign, the massive train doors are cranked shut. New York Times, 18 May 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But that was when pandemic shut-ins were still relying on delivery services for food and goods. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, 28 July 2022 Remember Mukunda Angula, one of the cinema-loving shut-ins from The Wolfpack? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2022 Boredom and separation among many pandemic shut-ins inspired a will for change, and thus a reason to leave cities for towns like Muscle Shoals. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 May 2022 Following Ferguson’s intuition and advice, the United Kingdom threw out its existing plans to control a respiratory pandemic by focusing on the vulnerable and preserving liberty for the greatest number, and embraced Chinese-style shut-ins. The Editors, National Review, 14 Apr. 2022 Russia is likely to remain under sanctions for a very long time, so production shut-ins should be expected. Jude Clemente, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 No wonder high-strung shut-ins gobbled it up like a basket of buttery croissants. Ruth Kinane,, 15 Nov. 2021 When Rebecca starts to look for more independence, Jonas goes to unhealthy extremes to protect the world the two have made for themselves as shut-ins. Jamie Lang, Variety, 8 Nov. 2021 Much of the existing affordable housing in SoHo and Little Italy is in older walk-up buildings, where seniors with mobility issues are either forced to either move out or become shut-ins relying on others to visit and bring food. Kim Velsey, Curbed, 30 Sep. 2021 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

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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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Dictionary Entries Near shut



shut away

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 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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