verb (used with object), shut·tled, shut·tling.

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.

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
Related formsshut·tle·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for shuttling

commute, travel

Examples from the Web for shuttling

Contemporary Examples of shuttling

Historical Examples of shuttling

  • She was battered by the noise and shuttling of the rush-hour traffic.

    Main Street

    Sinclair Lewis

  • The buckets were filled and emptied alternately by shuttling the truck and attaching first one and then the other to the derrick.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • Every wheel in the District motor pool was on the highway from the airport, shuttling in the wedding-party.

  • He told of the trail down Thunder Mountain that had been used for shuttling cattle into and out of the Basin.

British Dictionary definitions for shuttling



a bobbin-like device used in weaving for passing the weft thread between the warp threads
a small bobbin-like device used to hold the thread in a sewing machine or in tatting, knitting, etc
  1. a bus, train, aircraft, etc, that plies between two points, esp one that offers a frequent service over a short route
  2. short for space shuttle
  1. the movement between various countries of a diplomat in order to negotiate with rulers who refuse to meet each other
  2. (as modifier)shuttle diplomacy
badminton short for shuttlecock


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

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for shuttling



Old English scytel "a dart, arrow," from West Germanic *skutilaz (cf. Old Norse skutill "harpoon"), from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (see shoot (v.)). The original sense in English is obsolete; the weaving instrument so called (mid-14c.) from being "shot" across the threads. Sense of "train that runs back and forth" is first recorded 1895, from image of the weaver's instrument's back-and-forth movement over the warp; extended to aircraft 1942, to spacecraft 1969. In some other languages, the weaving instrument takes its name from its resemblance to a boat (cf. Latin navicula, French navette, German weberschiff).



1550s, "move rapidly to and fro," from shuttle (n.); sense of "transport via a shuttle service" is recorded from 1930. Related: Shuttled; shuttling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper