Definition of shunt in English:

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Pronunciation: /ʃʌnt/


1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Push or pull (a train or part of a train) from the main line to a siding or from one line of rails to another: their train had been shunted into a siding
More example sentences
  • At Steeton railway station at a quarter to five on the morning of October 11, 1943, the Leeds-Edinburgh express collided with a freight train being shunted into a siding.
  • Special trains were shunted into the sidings about twice a week with building materials for the aerodrome which was being built then.
  • The train was shunted onto a siding and wreckage was strewn along 200 yards of track.
1.1Push or shove (someone or something): chairs were being shunted to and fro
More example sentences
  • As the second vehicle was shunted to the side of the road, officers saw Smith apparently waving a weapon.
  • Travellers are shunted into sites that are like urban slums, only without the amenities.
  • Other cases have seen thieves shunt a vehicle and confront the owner after they leave their car to inspect the damage.
1.2Direct or divert to a less important place or position: amateurs were gradually being shunted to filing jobs
More example sentences
  • For far too long now, the youths have had the feeling of having been shunted into the position of secondary citizens.
  • But he'd been shunted into staff jobs instead of command positions in World War II.
  • After the merger of her company, Anna, a divorced mother, finds herself suddenly removed from her old position and shunted about, even humiliated.
2 [with object] Provide (an electrical current) with a conductor joining two points of a circuit, through which more or less of the current may be diverted: these components are designed to shunt electrical surges away from microcircuits


1An act of pushing or shoving something: the engine turnround was helped by a gravity shunt the car would turn into a fireball when hit by even quite gentle shunts
More example sentences
  • The countless mini-roundabouts popping up where there just simply isn't room for a roundabout is another danger, increasing the number of small shunts & bumps.
1.1British informal A motor accident, especially a collision of vehicles travelling one close behind the other: a lorry shed its load, causing an eight-vehicle shunt
More example sentences
  • There were a number of near accidents and shunts after the work was completed because vehicles were unable to stop.
  • There was heavy traffic on Sunday because the weather was good and a lot of people were going up to the Dales, but the traffic kept moving, there were no shunts or near accidents.
  • Keighley traffic police reported that although there were a number of minor shunts, there had been no serious accidents.
2An electrical conductor joining two points of a circuit, through which more or less of a current may be diverted.
Example sentences
  • One indication is a shunt or a short circuit of a medium between the common control element and the devices.
2.1 Surgery An alternative path for the passage of the blood or other body fluid: [as modifier]: shunt surgery
More example sentences
  • Preliminary results appear promising: fewer babies who have had surgery require shunts to drain fluid from their brains.
  • Haemodynamic effects are similar to those found with surgical shunts, with a lower procedural morbidity and mortality.
  • This medical condition usually requires the surgical placement of a shunt system to divert cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body.


Middle English (in the sense 'move suddenly aside'): perhaps from shun.

Words that rhyme with shunt

affront, blunt, brunt, bunt, confront, front, Granth, grunt, hunt, mahant, runt, stunt, up-front

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shunt

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