Why was clemency trending last week?


[shuht-doun] /ˈʃʌtˌdaʊn/
a shutting down, as of a factory, school, or machine; a termination or suspension of operations, services, or business activity: a partial government shutdown;
an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor.
Origin of shutdown
1855-60, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase shut down Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shutdown
  • However, what would normally be an effective shutdown turned into a second chance after alumni and friends spoke up.
  • The resulting spray shorted out electronics and forced an automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor.
  • The sudden shutdown of so many local industries left many families without income, pushing some to the brink of economic disaster.
  • They are re-proving it at the moment by again threatening a government shutdown, this time by holding disaster relief hostage.
  • The bills are aimed at thwarting piracy, by forcing the shutdown of any site that hosts pirated content.
  • It happened earlier this year with the averted government shutdown.
  • Computer modellers have tried to reproduce such a shutdown, with some success.
  • We're not opposed to a shutdown showdown, but the policy stakes ought to be worth the political investment.
  • Periods of depression and inaction alternate with spurts of partisan mania that bring the government to the edge of shutdown.
  • He is proposing, in other words, a government shutdown.
British Dictionary definitions for shutdown


  1. the closing of a factory, shop, etc
  2. (as modifier): shutdown costs
verb (adverb)
to cease or cause to cease operation
(transitive) to close by lowering
(transitive) (of fog) to descend and envelop
(intransitive; foll by on or upon) (informal) to put a stop to; clamp down on
(transitive) to reduce the power level of (a nuclear reactor) to the lowest possible value
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 shutdown

also shut-down, 1884, of factories, etc.; 1911 of machines; from shut (v.) + down (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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