What does shuttle mean?

Definitions for shuttle
ˈʃʌt lshut·tle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shuttle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shuttlecock, bird, birdie, shuttlenoun

    badminton equipment consisting of a ball of cork or rubber with a crown of feathers

  2. shuttlenoun

    public transport that consists of a bus or train or airplane that plies back and forth between two points

  3. shuttleverb

    bobbin that passes the weft thread between the warp threads

  4. shuttleverb

    travel back and forth between two points


  1. shuttlenoun

    The part of a loom that carries the woof back and forth between the warp threads

  2. shuttlenoun

    A transport service (such as a bus or train) that goes back and forth between two places.

  3. shuttlenoun

    Any other item that moves repeatedly back and forth between two positions, possibly transporting something else with it between those points (such as, in chemistry, a molecular shuttle).

  4. shuttleverb

    To go back and forth between two places.

  5. shuttleverb

    To transport by shuttle or by means of a shuttle service.

  6. Etymology: From scytel, from skutilaz (compare Old Norse skutill), from skut- (see shoot). Name for loom weaving instrument, recorded from 1338, is from a sense of being "shot" across the threads. The back-and-forth imagery inspired the extension to "passenger trains" in 1895, aircraft in 1942, and spacecraft in 1969, as well as older terms such as shuttlecock.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shuttlenoun

    The instrument with which the weaver shoots the cross threads.

    Etymology: schietspoele, Dutch; skutul, Islandick.

    I know life is a shuttle. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Like shuttles through the loom, so swiftly glide
    My feather’d hours. George Sandys.

    What curious loom does chance by ev’ning spread!
    With what fine shuttle weave the virgin’s thread,
    Which like the spider’s net hangs o’er the mead! Richard Blackmore.


  1. shuttle

    A shuttle generally refers to a mode of transport that travels frequently between two or more locations or points. It could also refer to a device in weaving looms for carrying thread back and forth between the sides of the loom. The term is also used in various fields, such as space exploration (Space Shuttle), to represent tools, devices, or vehicles that move or transport something from one place to another.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shuttlenoun

    an instrument used in weaving for passing or shooting the thread of the woof from one side of the cloth to the other between the threads of the warp

  2. Shuttlenoun

    the sliding thread holder in a sewing machine, which carries the lower thread through a loop of the upper thread, to make a lock stitch

  3. Shuttlenoun

    a shutter, as for a channel for molten metal

  4. Shuttleverb

    to move backwards and forwards, like a shuttle

  5. Etymology: [Also shittle, OE. schitel, scytyl, schetyl; cf. OE. schitel a bolt of a door, AS. scyttes; all from AS. scetan to shoot; akin to Dan. skyttel, skytte, shuttle, dial. Sw. skyttel, skttel. 159. See Shoot, and cf. Shittle, Skittles.]


  1. Shuttle

    A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store or a holder that carries the thread across the loom weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft. The simplest shuttles, known as "stick shuttles", are made from a flat, narrow piece of wood with notches on the ends to hold the weft yarn. More complicated shuttles incorporate bobbins or pirns. Shuttles are often made of wood from the Flowering Dogwood, because it is so hard, resists splintering, and can be polished to a very smooth finish. Originally shuttles were passed back and forth by hand. However, John Kay invented a loom in 1733 that incorporated a flying shuttle. This shuttle could be thrown through the warp, which allowed much wider cloth to be woven much more quickly and made the development of machine looms much simpler. The act of 'kissing the shuttle', in which weavers used their mouths to pull thread through the eye of a shuttle when the pirn was replaced, contributed to the spread of disease.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shuttle

    shut′l, n. an instrument used for shooting the thread of the woof between the threads of the warp in weaving.—v.t. and v.i. to move to and fro, like a shuttle.—n. Shutt′lecock, a rounded cork stuck with feathers, driven with a battledore: the game itself.—adv. Shutt′lewise, in the manner of a shuttle.—adj. Shutt′le-wit′ted, flighty. [From base of A.S. sceótan, shoot; Dan. and Sw. skyttel.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shuttle is ranked #114424 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shuttle surname appeared 153 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Shuttle.

    88.8% or 136 total occurrences were White.
    5.2% or 8 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    3.9% or 6 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce shuttle?

How to say shuttle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shuttle in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shuttle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of shuttle in a Sentence

  1. Ronald Reagan:

    The distance between the present system and our proposal is like comparing the distance between a Model T and the space shuttle. And I should know I've seen both.

  2. AiR:

    We shuttle between joy and sorrow. We live, we die, and we don’t even know why. We are born, and we just zoom from womb to tomb. We don’t have time to realize the truth.

  3. Pete Piringer:

    There were no fire hydrants in the area, which isn't a problem because we're used to it, but we had to shuttle in water tankers.

  4. Federica Mogherini:

    I guess we will have to do a little bit of shuttle diplomacy.

  5. AiR:

    Why do we shuttle between joy and sorrow? Between yesterday and tomorrow? It is because of our ignorance. We live, we cry and we die.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shuttle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"shuttle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shuttle>.

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    be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    A conceal
    B moan
    C accompany
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