1. The act or process of turning aside or moving to an alternate course.
2. A railroad switch.
3. Electricity A low-resistance connection between two points in an electric circuit that forms an alternative path for a portion of the current. Also called bypass.
4. Medicine A passage between two natural body channels, such as blood vessels, especially one created surgically to divert or permit flow from one pathway or region to another; a bypass.
v. shunt·ed, shunt·ing, shunts
1. To turn or move aside or onto another course: shunting traffic around an accident.
2. To evade by putting aside or ignoring: urgent problems that society can no longer shunt aside.
3. To switch (a train or car) from one track to another.
4. Electricity To provide or divert (current) by means of a shunt.
5. Medicine To divert or permit flow of (a body fluid) from one pathway or region to another by surgical means.
1. To move or turn aside.
2. Electricity To become diverted by means of a shunt. Used of a circuit.
[Middle English shunten, to flinch.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.