\ 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 This will help shut their jaw and let air pass through their nose instead, relieving and eliminating snoring. Chris Hachey, BGR, 11 June 2021 Zooephebe’s lawsuit, however, notes J.P. Licks never fully shut its doors last year., 11 June 2021 The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would bar a number of practices that allow dominant companies to shut rivals out of their platforms or dictate their prices. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 11 June 2021 But despite a requirement that all passengers over 16 be vaccinated, the celebratory cruise couldn’t avoid the virus that shut the industry down 15 months ago. Hannah Sampson, Anchorage Daily News, 11 June 2021 Duke Energy was called to the scene to shut power off before she could be extricated. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, 10 June 2021 But a spokesperson for the Sussexes has shut said story down, noting that the Queen was the very first relative Harry called after Lilibet's arrival on June 4. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, 10 June 2021 Soon, there might be episodes where Kathy's not there at all, offering us absolutely no suggestions about how to BE KIND via her many slogan t-shirts; accidentally gluing absolutely none of her orifices shut. Jodi Walker,, 10 June 2021 Like the rest of the car industry, Ferrari has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which temporarily shut production in spring 2020. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Public venues such as cinemas, museums and libraries also remain shut and there are strict limits on the size of gatherings both indoors and outside. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, 2 Feb. 2021 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, 3 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trade groups appealed to state houses to loosen alcohol restrictions when the pandemic shut dining rooms. Heather Haddon, WSJ, 29 May 2021 All public spaces such as cinemas, libraries and recreation centers were ordered shut, and public schools will remain closed until at least the end of the month. Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2021 There’s still a chance the District Court judge will order DAPL shut sometime in the next few weeks. Roger Conrad, Forbes, 15 May 2021 Television images also showed a side door in the evacuated passageway that had been locked shut. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2021 First-grader Kamryn Gardner noticed that her Old Navy jeans didn’t have real pockets like her brother’s; instead the pockets were sewn shut. Fortune, 13 Apr. 2021 Now the 7-year-old from Bentonville, Ark., is getting local and nationwide attention for convincing clothing retailer Old Navy to consider her request to stop making girls’ jeans with pockets that are sewn shut. Cathy Free, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Apr. 2021 Anybody who tells him to keep his mouth shut has the right to do so but not much acumen to go alongside that right. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 Their efforts were unsuccessful, but law enforcement said the group tried to cement the door shut and seal the officers inside. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, 1 Apr. 2021

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for shut



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

More from Merriam-Webster on shut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shut

Nglish: Translation of shut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shut for Arabic Speakers


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