Definition of shunt in English:


Syllabification: shunt
Pronunciation: /SHənt


  • 1 [with object] Push or pull (a train or part of a train) from the main line to a siding or from one track 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.
  • 1.1 (usually be shunted) Push or shove (someone or something): chairs were being shunted back and forth
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    • 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 (someone or something) 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.


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  • 1An act of pushing or shoving something.
    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.
  • 2An electrical conductor joining two points of a circuit, through which more or less of a current may be diverted.
    More 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.

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