shut off(redirected from shut off something)
1. verb To stop operating; to turn off. The phone shuts off after a few moments of inactivity to save its battery. The generator has a sensor so that it will shut off by itself if it begins to overheat.
2. verb To disactivate something; to turn something off. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "shut" and "off." You can use my computer, just shut it off when you're done. We'll have to shut off the water main to repair the pipes.
3. verb To isolate someone, something, or oneself. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "shut" and "off." I'm worried about Jim—he's been shutting himself off lately. The other directors shut him off from the board meetings as a result of his inflammatory remarks.
4. adjective Isolated; unable to be reached or contacted. The resort is completely shut off from the outside world—no Internet, no TV, no nothing. My cubicle is the only one on this side of the floor, off so I feel really shut from the rest of the office.
1. Stop the flow or passage of, as in They shut off the water while repairs were being made. [Early 1800s]
2. Close off, isolate, as in Loners shut themselves off from the community. [First half of 1800s]
1. To stop the flow, passage, or operation of something: The plumber shut off the water by closing a valve. Shut the lights off before you leave.
2. To stop flowing or operating, especially automatically: The electricity shuts off at midnight.
3. To isolate someone or something: The miser shut himself off from the community.