a solid or louvered movable cover for a window.
a movable cover, slide, etc., for an opening.
a person or thing that shuts.
Photography. a mechanical device for opening and closing the aperture of a camera lens to expose film or the like.
verb (used with object)
to close or provide with shutters: She shuttered the windows.
to close (a store or business operations) for the day or permanently.
verb (used without object)
to close or close down: The factory has shuttered temporarily.

1535–45; shut + -er1

shutterless, adjective
unshuttered, adjective

shudder, shutter.

1. See curtain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To shutter
World English Dictionary
shutter (ˈʃʌtə)
1.  a hinged doorlike cover, often louvred and usually one of a pair, for closing off a window
2.  put up the shutters to close business at the end of the day or permanently
3.  photog an opaque shield in a camera that, when tripped, admits light to expose the film or plate for a predetermined period, usually a fraction of a second. It is either built into the lens system or lies in the focal plane of the lens (focal-plane shutter)
4.  photog a rotating device in a film projector that permits an image to be projected onto the screen only when the film is momentarily stationary
5.  music one of the louvred covers over the mouths of organ pipes, operated by the swell pedal
6.  a person or thing that shuts
7.  to close with or as if with a shutter or shutters
8.  to equip with a shutter or shutters

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1540s, "one who shuts" (see shut); meaning "moveable wooden or iron screen for a window" is from 1683. Photographic sense of "device for opening and closing the aperture of a lens" is from 1862. The verb is recorded from 1826. Shutter-bug "enthusiastic amateur photographer" is from 1940.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


in photography, device by which the lens aperture of a camera is opened to admit light and thus expose the film. Adjustable shutters control exposure time, or the length of time during which light is admitted. Optimum exposure time varies according to lighting conditions, movement of subject, and other factors and may be either selected in advance by the photographer or, in the case of automatic cameras, set by the camera itself on a signal from a built-in exposure-metering system. The mechanical shutter can usually be set only for indicated speeds throughout its range; some electronic shutters have a continuous operating range

Learn more about shutter with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
If the camera's shutter is slow with respect to the object's movement, the
  picture is blurry.
To fail better and more knowingly with each click of the shutter.
To keep them open, engineers apply a voltage--a positive voltage on the shutter
  itself and a negative voltage on the back wall.
Good beach photos often include silky-looking waves, a trick achieved through
  slow shutter speeds.
Image for shutter
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature