[ shuht-in ]
See synonyms for shut-in on
  1. confined to one's home, a hospital, etc., as from illness.

  2. Psychiatry. disposed to desire solitude; withdrawn; asocial.

  1. (of an oil or gas well) temporarily sealed up.

  1. a person confined by infirmity or disease to the house, a hospital, etc.

  2. Also called shut-in well . an oil or gas well that has been closed down.

Origin of shut-in

1840–50, Americanism; adj., noun use of verb phrase shut in Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use shut-in in a sentence

  • They filled the shut-in room with their vile humming; they swarmed everywhere in the half light.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm | Irvin S. Cobb
  • This may sound very foolish, as I know that writers have many letters from the public, but we shut-in people have moods.

    Mavis of Green Hill | Faith Baldwin

British Dictionary definitions for shut-in


  1. mainly US and Canadian

    • a person confined indoors by illness

    • (as modifier): a shut-in patient

  2. psychiatry a condition in which the person is highly withdrawn and unable to express his own feelings: See also schizoid

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