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  • IPA(key): /ʃʌt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌt

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English shutten, shetten, from Old English scyttan (to cause rapid movement, shoot a bolt, shut, bolt, shut to, discharge a debt, pay off), from Proto-Germanic *skutjaną, *skuttijaną (to bar, bolt), from Proto-Germanic *skuttą, *skuttjō (bar, bolt, shed), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kewd- (to drive, fall upon, rush). Cognate with Dutch schutten (to shut in, lock up), Low German schütten (to shut, lock in), German schützen (to shut out, dam, protect, guard).


shut (third-person singular simple present shuts, present participle shutting, simple past and past participle shut)

  1. (transitive) To close, to stop from being open.
    Please shut the door.
    The light was so bright I had to shut my eyes.
  2. (intransitive) To close, to stop being open.
    If you wait too long, the automatic door will shut.
  3. (transitive or intransitive, chiefly Britain) To close a business temporarily, or (of a business) to be closed.
    The pharmacy is shut on Sunday.
  4. To preclude; to exclude; to bar out.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      shut from every shore
Usage notes[edit]

Except when part of one of the derived terms listed below, almost every use of shut can be replaced by close. The reverse is not true -- there are many uses of close that cannot be replaced by shut.

Derived terms[edit]


shut (not comparable)

  1. closed


shut (plural shuts)

  1. The act or time of shutting; close.
    the shut of a door
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Just then returned at shut of evening flowers.
  2. A door or cover; a shutter.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Isaac Newton to this entry?)
  3. The line or place where two pieces of metal are welded together.

Etymology 2[edit]

Variation of chute or shute (archaic, related to shoot) from Old English scēotan.


shut (plural shuts)

  1. (Britain, Shropshire dialectal) A narrow alley or passage acting as a short cut through the buildings between two streets.