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”).
- (transitive) To close, to stop from being open.
- Please shut the door.
- The light was so bright I had to shut my eyes.
- (intransitive) To close, to stop being open.
- If you wait too long, the automatic door will shut.
- (transitive or intransitive, chiefly Britain) To close a business temporarily, or (of a business) to be closed.
- The pharmacy is shut on Sunday.
- (transitive) To confine in an enclosed area.
- I shut the cat in the kitchen before going out.
- (transitive) To catch or snag in the act of shutting something.
- He's just gone and shut his finger in the door!
- To preclude; to exclude; to bar out.
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.
shut (not comparable)
- Closed; not open.
- A shut door barred our way into the house.
- (linguistics, phonetics) Synonym of
- 1810, Benjamin Humphrey Smart, A practical grammar of English pronunciation, page 344:
- Whenever a syllable is formed with a long, that is an open vowel, they account the syllable long; and whenever formed with a short, that is a shut vowel, they reckon it short.
shut (plural shuts)
- The act or time of shutting; close.
- the shut of a door
- A door or cover; a shutter.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Isaac Newton to this entry?)
- The line or place where two pieces of metal are welded together.
shut (plural shuts)
- (Britain, Shropshire dialect) A narrow alley or passage acting as a short cut through the buildings between two streets.
- (alleyway): See Thesaurus:alley