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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. 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.
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]
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.