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[shuht-in] /ˈʃʌtˌɪn/
confined to one's home, a hospital, etc., as from illness.
Psychiatry. disposed to desire solitude; withdrawn; asocial.
(of an oil or gas well) temporarily sealed up.
a person confined by infirmity or disease to the house, a hospital, etc.
Also called shut-in well. an oil or gas well that has been closed down.
Origin of shut-in
1840-50, Americanism; adj., noun use of verb phrase shut in Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shut-in
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The shut-in is a gorge; the Suck is a whirlpool; Pinch-gut is a narrow passage between the cliffs.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • The thoughts awakened by the sight of the shut-in girls were not happy ones.

    Patchwork Anna Balmer Myers
  • You of the shut-in clan are not skilled meteorologists, but time is too precious to be wasted in idle weather chat.

    A Speckled Bird Augusta J. Evans Wilson
  • For the men of this country are accustomed to call a narrow, shut-in pass "alps."

    Procopius Procopius
  • They were then placed in the Tikes basket to delight the heart of some shut-in, whose only outing was from the window.

  • Ive just come back from Alaska, and it seems so shut-in there.

  • A shut-in personality is one that habitually responds inadequately to normal social appeal.

  • Through clefts in our shut-in way we could see snow on the mountains.

    The Amazing Argentine John Foster Fraser
  • Propinquity perhaps and the shut-in existence that they lead account for much of it.

    The Gorgeous Girl Nalbro Bartley
British Dictionary definitions for shut-in


(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. a person confined indoors by illness
  2. (as modifier): a shut-in patient
(psychiatry) a condition in which the person is highly withdrawn and unable to express his own feelings See also schizoid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shut-in

"person confined from normal social intercourse," 1904, from the verbal phrase, from shut (v.) + in (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shut-in in Medicine

shut-in n.
A person confined indoors by illness or disability. adj.

  1. Confined to a home or hospital, as by illness.

  2. Disposed to avoid social contact; excessively withdrawn or introverted.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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