shut·​tle | \ ˈshə-tᵊl How to pronounce shuttle (audio) \

Definition of shuttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a device used in weaving for passing the thread of the weft between the threads of the warp
b : a spindle-shaped device holding the thread in tatting, knotting, or netting
c : a sliding thread holder for the lower thread of a sewing machine that carries the lower thread through a loop of the upper thread to make a stitch
3a : a going back and forth regularly over an often short route by a vehicle
b(1) : an established route used in a shuttle
(2) : a vehicle used in a shuttle a shuttle bus


shuttled; shuttling\ ˈshət-​liŋ How to pronounce shuttle (audio) , ˈshə-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of shuttle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to move or travel back and forth frequently
2 : to transport in, by, or as if by a shuttle shuttled them to school

intransitive verb

1 : to move or travel back and forth frequently
2 : to move by or as if by a shuttle

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Other Words from shuttle


shuttleless adjective

Examples of shuttle in a Sentence

Noun A shuttle takes people from the parking lot to the airport. Verb We shuttled between the city and the country all summer. A bus shuttled people from the parking lot to the dock.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Traffic and crowds swell to the max, shuttle buses are standing room only, and any lodging options within what feels like a 100-mile radius are booked solid. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Yosemite National Park Travel Guide," 22 Feb. 2021 With its narrow escalators, cramped holding area and shuttle buses, the gate is infamous among regulars at National. Washington Post, "The opening of a new 14-gate concourse will mark the end of the line for Gate 35X.," 20 Feb. 2021 There will be 14 shuttle buses running instead, including one from downtown’s Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station to the Bishop Arts District to temporarily replace the streetcar that usually runs in that area. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, "Dallas officials urging residents to stay home or seek shelter as winter storm rolls on," 14 Feb. 2021 There are no ski club buses and no shuttle buses to get people out of their cars. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, "Here's what to expect at Tahoe this weekend: Long lift lines," 11 Feb. 2021 Whereas the festival’s previous distribution-deal battle royales (for films like Hamlet 2 and Little Miss Sunshine) played out amid the ski chalets and swag suites and crowded shuttle buses of Park City, Utah, buzz for CODA was entirely virtual. Chris Lee, Vulture, "Virtual Buzz Led to the Biggest Sale in Sundance History," 4 Feb. 2021 What else was there to demand when good pay, free shuttle buses, catered meals and myriad other perks abounded, not to mention the promise of changing the world? Chase Difeliciantonio,, "Tech unions in Silicon Valley have been rare. Here’s why that’s changing," 10 Jan. 2021 Once December arrived, however, customers stopped reserving shuttle buses, vans and limousines from Alimena Limousine & Worldwide Transportation. Andy Peters, ajc, "Business owners hope to buy time with new COVID relief loans," 2 Jan. 2021 The airport’s fire and rescue department responded to the scene, and passengers were transported to the terminals using shuttle buses. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Spirit jet slides off taxiway in Baltimore after landing in slick conditions," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On Thursday, State Representative Steve Owens tweeted a screenshot that showed a series of offers posted to Craigslist from people looking to link up with elderly residents and shuttle them to their vaccine appointments in exchange for a shot. Steve Annear,, "‘Willing to pay’: People on Craigslist are offering to drive elderly residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for a shot themselves," 11 Feb. 2021 In addition, golf carts and Gators used to shuttle staff around the stadium were scaled back to just two-three people per trip rather than the 4-5 or more. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "How The NFL Pulled Off a Safe Super Bowl LV Halftime Show in the Middle of a Pandemic," 8 Feb. 2021 Digital equipment later replaced those operator banks, but the buildings continued to serve as hubs for hard-to-move fiber optic lines that shuttle data. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Nashville Bombing Suspect Anthony Warner Died in Explosion, Police Say," 27 Dec. 2020 Smugglers have still been able to shuttle migrants from Central America to Mexico, largely by paying bribes to police and immigration officials. Washington Post, "Migrant caravans could be early test for Biden and post-Trump relations with Mexico," 1 Dec. 2020 Move it closer to a bright window or shuttle it in and out as the weather permits. Neil Sperry,, "Neil Sperry’s tips to preparing a raised garden bed," 15 Jan. 2021 Since the pandemic hit, chefs at Britain’s elite eateries have scrambled to shuttle high-end cuisine to the doorsteps of wealthy clients. Jem Bartholomew, WSJ, "Champagne Delivery by Rolls-Royce? Posh Restaurants Break Out the Takeout Menu," 14 Jan. 2021 The crew carved a ramp into the excavation site so that a sleigh operated by a pulley system could be used to shuttle about 20 metric tons of snow out of the pit. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "How investigators found a jet engine under Greenland's ice sheet," 14 Oct. 2020 Service was later stopped between the Georgia Avenue and U Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo stations, and Metro buses were called in to shuttle customers from the shutdown stations. Washington Post, "Trespasser on Metro tracks stops trains on Green, Yellow lines," 9 Dec. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1550, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shuttle


Middle English shittle, shutle, from Old English scutel, scytel dart; akin to Old Norse skutill bolt, Old English scēotan to shoot — more at shoot

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Time Traveler for shuttle

Time Traveler

The first known use of shuttle was in the 14th century

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Statistics for shuttle

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shuttle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for shuttle



English Language Learners Definition of shuttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a vehicle that travels back and forth between places
: a pointed tool that is used to weave cloth by pulling a thread from side to side across other threads



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

: to travel back and forth between places
: to bring (people) back and forth between places


shut·​tle | \ ˈshə-tᵊl How to pronounce shuttle (audio) \

Kids Definition of shuttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an instrument used in weaving to carry the thread back and forth from side to side through the threads that run lengthwise
2 : a vehicle (as a bus or train) that goes back and forth over a short route


shuttled; shuttling

Kids Definition of shuttle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move or bring back and forth rapidly or often The ferry shuttled travelers across the river.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shuttle

Nglish: Translation of shuttle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shuttle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shuttle

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