a shutting down, as of a factory, school, or machine; a termination or suspension of operations, services, or business activity: a partial government shutdown; an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor.

Origin of shutdown

1855–60, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase shut down Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for shutdown

closure, stoppage, closedown, cessation, abandonment

Examples from the Web for shutdown

Contemporary Examples of shutdown

British Dictionary definitions for shutdown



  1. the closing of a factory, shop, etc
  2. (as modifier)shutdown costs

verb shut down (adverb)

to cease or cause to cease operation
(tr) to close by lowering
(tr) (of fog) to descend and envelop
(intr; foll by on or upon) informal to put a stop to; clamp down on
(tr) to reduce the power level of (a nuclear reactor) to the lowest possible value
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 shutdown

also shut-down, 1884, of factories, etc.; 1911 of machines; from shut (v.) + down (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper