See more synonyms for shut on
verb (used with object), shut, shut·ting.
  1. to put (a door, cover, etc.) in position to close or obstruct.
  2. to close the doors of (often followed by up): to shut up a shop for the night.
  3. to close (something) by bringing together or folding its parts: Shut your book. Shut the window!
  4. to confine; enclose: to shut a bird into a cage.
  5. to bar; exclude: They shut him from their circle.
  6. to cause (a factory, school, etc.) to end or suspend operations, services, or business activity: He shut his store, sold his house, and moved away. We're shutting the office for two weeks in June.
  7. to bolt; bar.
verb (used without object), shut, shut·ting.
  1. to become shut or closed; close.
  1. closed; fastened up: a shut door.
  2. Phonetics. checked(def 2).
  1. the act or time of shutting or closing.
  2. the line where two pieces of welded metal are united.
Verb Phrases
  1. shut down,
    1. to close, especially temporarily; end or suspend operations, services, or business activity.
    2. to stop operating or stop the operation of (a machine): Did you remember to shut down your computer?
    3. Also shut down on/ hinder; check; stop from doing or saying something: He appeared on the talk show to shut down his critics.
    4. defeat or outdo:The team was able to shut down the offense.
    5. to settle over so as to envelop or darken: The fog shut down rapidly.
  2. shut in,
    1. to enclose.
    2. to confine, as from illness: She broke her leg in a fall and has been shut in for several weeks.
  3. shut of, Informal. free of; rid of: He wished he were shut of all his debts.
  4. shut off,
    1. to stop the passage of (water, traffic, electricity, etc.); close off.
    2. to isolate; separate: an outpost almost completely shut off from civilization.
  5. shut out,
    1. to keep from entering; exclude.
    2. to hide from view.
    3. to prevent (an opponent or opposing team) from scoring, as in a game of baseball.
  6. shut up,
    1. to imprison; confine.
    2. to close entirely.
    3. to stop talking; become silent: I thought the neighbors would never shut up and let me sleep.
    4. to stop (someone) from talking; silence.

Origin of shut

before 1000; Middle English s(c)hutten, s(c)hetten, s(c)hitten Old English scyttan “to bolt (a door)”; akin to shoot1
Related formshalf-shut, adjectivere·shut, verb, re·shut, re·shut·ting.un·shut, adjective

Synonyms for shut

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

1. See close.

Antonyms for shut

1. open. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shut up

choke, gag, hush, muzzle, quiet, silence, soft-pedal, still, quieten, shush

British Dictionary definitions for shut up

shut up

verb (adverb)
  1. (tr) to prevent all access to
  2. (tr) to confine or imprison
  3. informal to cease to talk or make a noise or cause to cease to talk or make a noise: often used in commands
  4. (intr) (of horses in a race) to cease through exhaustion from maintaining a racing pace


verb shuts, shutting or shut
  1. to move (something) so as to cover an aperture; closeto shut a door
  2. to close (something) by bringing together the partsto shut a book
  3. (tr often foll by up) to close or lock the doors ofto shut up a house
  4. (tr; foll by in, out, etc) to confine, enclose, or excludeto shut a child in a room
  5. (tr) to prevent (a business, etc) from operating
  6. shut one's eyes to to ignore deliberately
  7. shut the door on
    1. to refuse to think about
    2. to render impossible
  1. closed or fastened
  1. the act or time of shutting
  2. the line along which pieces of metal are welded
  3. get shut of or get shot of slang to get rid of

Word Origin for shut

Old English scyttan; related to Old Frisian sketta to shut in, Middle Dutch schutten to obstruct
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

Word Origin and History for shut up

c.1400, "keep from view or use," from shut (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "cause to stop talking" is from 1814; intransitive meaning "cease from speaking" is from 1840.



Old English scyttan "to put (a bolt) in place so as to fasten a door or gate, bolt, shut to; discharge, pay off," from West Germanic *skutjan (cf. Old Frisian schetta, Middle Dutch schutten "to shut, shut up, obstruct"), from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.)). Related: Shutting.

Meaning "to close by folding or bringing together" is from mid-14c. Meaning "prevent ingress and egress" is from mid-14c. Sense of "to set (someone) free (from)" (c.1500) is obsolete except in dialectal phrases such as to get shut of. To shut (one's) mouth "desist from speaking" is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shut up

shut up


Imprison, confine, enclose, as in The dog was shut up in the cellar for the night, or She shut up her memories and never talked about the past. [c. 1400]


Close completely, as in The windows were shut up tightly so no rain came in. [Early 1500s] This usage also occurs in shut up shop, meaning “close the premises of a business,” as in It's late, let's shut up shop now. [Late 1500s] Also see close up, def. 3.


Cause someone to stop speaking, silence someone, as in It's time someone shut him up. [Early 1800s]


Stop speaking, as in I've told you what I think and now I'll shut up. This usage also occurs as a rather rude imperative, as in Shut up! You've said enough. [First half of 1800s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with shut

  • shut down
  • shut off
  • shut one's eyes to
  • shut out
  • shut the door
  • shut up

also see:

  • close (shut) down
  • close (shut) one's eyes to
  • close (shut) the door on
  • keep one's mouth shut
  • open and shut case
  • put up or shut up
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.