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1. verb To cease business operations for any length of time (often permanently). I loved that restaurant, so I'm very disappointed that it shut down. That shop always shuts down for two weeks in the summer to accommodate the owner's vacation.
2. verb To force a business to cease operations. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is often used between "shut" and "down." After a thorough investigation, the police were finally able to shut the shop down for money laundering.
3. verb To turn off a computer or other machine. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is often used between "shut" and "down." Everyone, be sure to shut down your computers before you leave the office today. Mom sent me to shut down the dryer because it was too noisy.
4. verb To reject, strongly discourage, or prevent one from continuing with one's course of action. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is often used between "shut" and "down." Man, I tried to talk to that pretty girl, and she totally shut me down! The judge shut down that line of questioning right quick. This tenacious defense has completely shut down the defending champions.
5. verb To not engage with or articulate one's emotions; to become numb to one's emotions. He's absolutely terrified of getting hurt—that's why he's shutting down on you. Please don't shut down. Tell me what you're feeling.
6. noun A period during which operations cease (usually temporarily). In this usage, the phrase is often written as one word. Congress was able to reach a compromise to avoid a government shutdown.
7. noun A state of emotional numbness or detachment. The phrase is often written as one word when used as a noun. Because he's absolutely terrified of getting hurt, he's gone into emotional shutdown.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
close something down and shut something down
to make something stop operating; to put something out of business. The police closed the illegal casino down. The manager shut down the factory for the holidays.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. See close down, def. 1.
2. Stop or switch off machinery, as in They shut down all the machines for one week a year. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To stop the operation of something, especially when a special process is required: The inspectors shut down the restaurant when they found a rat in the kitchen. I shut the computers down every night.
2. To stop operating, especially when a special process is required: The factory shut down for the holiday.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.