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[shuht-er] /ˈʃʌt ər/
a solid or louvered movable cover for a window.
a movable cover, slide, etc., for an opening.
a person or thing that shuts.
Photography. a mechanical device for opening and closing the aperture of a camera lens to expose film or the like.
verb (used with object)
to close or provide with shutters:
She shuttered the windows.
to close (a store or business operations) for the day or permanently.
verb (used without object)
to close or close down:
The factory has shuttered temporarily.
Origin of shutter
First recorded in 1535-45; shut + -er1
Related forms
shutterless, adjective
unshuttered, adjective
Can be confused
shudder, shutter.
Synonym Study
1. See curtain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shutter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I went up to the window and looked in through a chink in the shutter.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • The shutter had not been made fast, and I could see the banqueters and catch what they were saying.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • The shutter was sharply drawn back from her eyes, and she saw Ruffo.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • This made the room dark and gloomy, especially since one shutter was stuck shut.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Felicite, enraged, was beating a tattoo on the shutter with her impatient fingers.

British Dictionary definitions for shutter


a hinged doorlike cover, often louvred and usually one of a pair, for closing off a window
put up the shutters, to close business at the end of the day or permanently
(photog) an opaque shield in a camera that, when tripped, admits light to expose the film or plate for a predetermined period, usually a fraction of a second. It is either built into the lens system or lies in the focal plane of the lens (focal-plane shutter)
(photog) a rotating device in a film projector that permits an image to be projected onto the screen only when the film is momentarily stationary
(music) one of the louvred covers over the mouths of organ pipes, operated by the swell pedal
a person or thing that shuts
verb (transitive)
to close with or as if with a shutter or shutters
to equip with a shutter or shutters
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shutter

1540s, "one who shuts" (see shut (v.)); meaning "movable wooden or iron screen for a window" is from 1680s. Photographic sense of "device for opening and closing the aperture of a lens" is from 1862.


1826, from shutter (n.). Related: Shuttered; shuttering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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