[ shuht-l ]
See synonyms for: shuttleshuttling on

  1. a device in a loom for passing or shooting the weft thread through the shed from one side of the web to the other, usually consisting of a boat-shaped piece of wood containing a bobbin on which the weft thread is wound.

  2. the sliding container that carries the lower thread in a sewing machine.

  1. a public conveyance, as a train, airplane, or bus, that travels back and forth at regular intervals over a particular route, especially a short route or one connecting two transportation systems.

  2. (often initial capital letter) space shuttle.

verb (used with object),shut·tled, shut·tling.
  1. to cause (someone or something) to move to and fro or back and forth by or as if by a shuttle: They shuttled me all over the seventh floor.

verb (used without object),shut·tled, shut·tling.
  1. to move to and fro: constantly shuttling between city and suburb.

Origin of shuttle

before 900; Middle English shotil (noun), Old English scytel dart, arrow; cognate with Old Norse skutill harpoon; akin to shut, shoot1

Other words from shuttle

  • shut·tle·like, adjective

Words Nearby shuttle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shuttle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shuttle


/ (ˈʃʌtəl) /

  1. a bobbin-like device used in weaving for passing the weft thread between the warp threads

  2. a small bobbin-like device used to hold the thread in a sewing machine or in tatting, knitting, etc

    • a bus, train, aircraft, etc, that plies between two points, esp one that offers a frequent service over a short route

    • short for space shuttle

    • the movement between various countries of a diplomat in order to negotiate with rulers who refuse to meet each other

    • (as modifier): shuttle diplomacy

  1. badminton short for shuttlecock

  1. to move or cause to move by or as if by a shuttle

Origin of shuttle

Old English scytel bolt; related to Middle High German schüzzel, Swedish skyttel. See shoot, shot

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