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  1. 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.
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Origin of shutdown

1855–60, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase shut down
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for shutdown


    1. the closing of a factory, shop, etc
    2. (as modifier)shutdown costs
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verb shut down (adverb)
  1. to cease or cause to cease operation
  2. (tr) to close by lowering
  3. (tr) (of fog) to descend and envelop
  4. (intr; foll by on or upon) informal to put a stop to; clamp down on
  5. (tr) to reduce the power level of (a nuclear reactor) to the lowest possible value
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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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper