Language: Old English
Origin: scyttan


1 verb
shut1 S1 W2 past tense and past participle shut, present participle shutting
1 [intransitive and transitive] to close something, or to become closed:
Shut the window, Ellen!
I heard his bedroom door shut.
She lay down on her bed and shut her eyes.
shut (something) behind somebody
She walked quickly in and shut the door behind her.
He shut the drawer and turned the key.
see usage note close1

shut your mouth/face/trap!

also shut your gob!/shut it! British English spoken not polite used to tell someone to stop talking
3 [intransitive and transitive] British English to stop being open to the public for a short time or permanently [= close]:
The post office shuts at 5 o'clock.
At midday we shut the shop for lunch.
He lost his job when they shut the factory.

shut your eyes/ears to something

to deliberately refuse to notice or pay attention to something:
We ought not to shut our eyes to these facts.
She heard the boys shouting to her to stop, but she shut her ears to them.

shut something in the door/drawer etc

British English

; shut the door/drawer etc on something

American English to shut a door etc against something so that it gets trapped there:
I shut my finger in the back door yesterday and it still hurts.

shut somebody/something away

phrasal verb
1 to put someone or something in a place away from other people where they cannot be seen:
A lot of people are classed as mad and shut away unnecessarily.

shut yourself away

to deliberately avoid seeing people by staying at home or going to a quiet place, especially because you are very unhappy or want to study, write etc:
When news came of Robin's death, she shut herself away and saw no one.
shut yourself away in
She shut herself away in her room to work on her novel.

shut down

phrasal verb
1 if a company, factory, large machine etc shuts down or is shut down, it stops operating, either permanently or for a short time:
Our local hardware shop has shut down.
shut something ↔ down
an accident which resulted in two of the plant's nuclear reactors being shut down
The way to shut the machine down is to type EXIT.

shut somebody ↔ down

informalDS to prevent an opposing team or player from playing well or getting points
We all knew that to win we'd have to shut down Bobby Mitchell.

shut somebody in (something)

phrasal verb
a) if you shut someone in a room, you close the door and stop them from getting out:
Her parents shut her in an upstairs room.
He pushed the dogs into the breakfast room and shut them in.

shut yourself in (something)

if you shut yourself in a room, you close the door and stay in there, and often stop other people from coming in:
Ellie darted back to her room and shut herself in.
He shut himself in his room and wrote letters.

shut off

phrasal verb
1 if a machine, tool etc shuts off or if you shut it off, it stops operating [= turn off]:
The iron shuts off automatically if it gets too hot.
shut something ↔ off
I let the engine run for a minute and then shut it off.
Don't forget to shut off the water supply.

shut something ↔ off

to prevent goods or supplies from being available or being delivered:
a strike that closed the mines and shut off coal supplies

shut yourself off

to avoid meeting and talking to other people
shut yourself off from
He was cold and remote, shutting himself off from her completely.

be shut off from something

to be separated from other people or things, especially so that you are not influenced by them:
The valley is shut off from the modern world.

shut out

phrasal verb

shut somebody out

to deliberately not let someone join you in an activity or share your thoughts and feelings:
How can I help you if you just keep shutting me out all the time?
shut somebody out from
I felt I was being shut out from all the family's affairs.

shut somebody/something ↔ out

to prevent someone or something from entering a place:
heavy curtains that shut out the sunlight
shut somebody/something ↔ out from
The door closed firmly, shutting me out from the warmth inside.

shut something ↔out

to stop yourself from thinking about or noticing something, so that you are not affected by it:
People close their windows at night in a vain attempt to shut out the sound of gunfire.
She shut out memories of James.
Jenny closed her eyes and tried to shut everything out.

shut out somebody

American EnglishDS to defeat an opposing sports team and prevent them from getting any points:
Colorado shut out Kansas City 3-0.

shut up

phrasal verb

shut up!

spoken not polite used to tell someone to stop talking [= be quiet!]:
Oh, shut up! I don't want to hear your excuses.
Just shut up and listen.
shut up! about
Shut up about your stupid dog, okay!

shut (somebody) up

informal to stop talking or be quiet, or to make someone do this:
I can't stand that woman. She never shuts up.
shut (somebody) up about
I wish you'd shut up about Chris.
I only said that to shut her up.

shut somebody up

to keep someone in a place away from other people, and prevent them from leaving
shut somebody up in
I've had a terrible cold and been shut up in my room for a week.
Was there any need to keep us shut up here?

shut something ↔ up

to close a shop, room etc so that people cannot get into it:
Bernadette cleaned the attic and then shut it up for another year.

shut up shop

British English informal to close a business or stop working, at the end of the day or permanently

close, shut, lock, turn/switch off
In many contexts, the verbs close and shut can be used in exactly the same way Please close OR shut the gate. The windows were all closed OR shut. She closed OR shut her eyes. The store closes OR shuts at 7.!! Use close for a road, border, or airport All the crossing points on the border have been closed (NOT shut).!! Before a noun, use closed a closed door (NOT shut door)!! You cannot say 'close someone somewhere'. Use shut or lock to say that someone is put in a room or building and cannot get out They shut her (NOT closed her) in her bedroom. He was locked (NOT closed) in a cell.Use switch off or turn off with electrical things Will you turn off (NOT close) the TV? I switched off (NOT closed) all the lights.See also close

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