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[shuht-er] /ˈʃʌt ər/
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
Related forms
shutterless, adjective
unshuttered, adjective
Can be confused
shudder, shutter.
1. See curtain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shutters
  • The shutters, shelf bracket, and candelabra on the shelf were all garage-sale finds.
  • shutters were removed, exposing the handsome steel-framed window and increasing the natural light.
  • Plantation shutters blocked an enormous expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • Out went the shutters, exposing the sleek steel-framed window and increasing the natural light.
  • Operable metal shutters and fire-resistant curtains can help.
  • But you can't use mechanical shutters, because they'd have to move faster than the speed of light.
  • Tiny, ultrafast shutters can then be used to eliminate all but a single wavelength.
  • The shutters alternate left-right and are synchronized to the screen.
  • Reinforced concrete buildings with proper storm shutters do not go down in hurricanes.
  • Active shutters are better suited to the home environment, he says.
British Dictionary definitions for shutters


a hinged doorlike cover, often louvred and usually one of a pair, for closing off a window
put up the shutters, to close business at the end of the day or permanently
(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)
(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
(music) one of the louvred covers over the mouths of organ pipes, operated by the swell pedal
a person or thing that shuts
verb (transitive)
to close with or as if with a shutter or shutters
to equip with a shutter or shutters
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 shutters



1540s, "one who shuts" (see shut (v.)); meaning "movable wooden or iron screen for a window" is from 1680s. Photographic sense of "device for opening and closing the aperture of a lens" is from 1862.


1826, from shutter (n.). Related: Shuttered; shuttering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for shutters


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.
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