Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Regular travel back and forth over an established, often short route by a vehicle.
  • noun A vehicle used in such travel.
  • noun A route used by a vehicle in such travel.
  • noun A space shuttle.
  • noun Travel between disputing parties by a diplomatic intermediary.
  • noun A device used in weaving to carry the weft thread back and forth between the warp threads.
  • noun A device for holding the thread in tatting and netting and in a sewing machine.
  • intransitive verb To go, move, or travel back and forth, especially by a shuttle.
  • intransitive verb To cause to move back and forth frequently.
  • intransitive verb To transport, especially by a shuttle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Headlong; rash; thoughtless; unsteady; volatile.
  • Slippery, sliding.
  • To move to and fro like a shuttle.
  • To go back and forth like a shuttle; travel to and fro.
  • noun A bolt or bar, as of a door.
  • noun An instrument used by weavers for passing or shooting the thread of the weft from one side of the web to the other between the threads of the warp.
  • noun In sewing-machines, the sliding thread-holder which carries the lower thread between the needle and the upper thread to make a lockstitch. See cuts under sewing-machine.
  • noun The gate which opens to allow the water to flow on a water-wheel.
  • noun One of the sections of a shutter-dam.
  • noun A small gate or stop through which metal is allowed to pass from the trough to the mold.
  • noun A shuttlecock; also, the game known as shuttlecock.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To move backwards and forwards, like a shuttle.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun rare A shutter, as for a channel for molten metal.
  • noun (Weaving) a case at the end of a shuttle race, to receive the shuttle after it has passed the thread of the warp; also, one of a set of compartments containing shuttles with different colored threads, which are passed back and forth in a certain order, according to the pattern of the cloth woven.
  • noun a sort of shelf in a loom, beneath the warp, along which the shuttle passes; a channel or guide along which the shuttle passes in a sewing machine.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of numerous species of marine gastropods of the genus Volva, or Radius, having a smooth, spindle-shaped shell prolonged into a channel at each end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The part of a loom that carries the woof back and forth between the warp threads
  • noun A transport service (such as a bus or train) that goes back and forth between two places.
  • noun 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).
  • verb intransitive To go back and forth between two places.
  • verb transitive To transport by shuttle or by means of a shuttle service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun public transport that consists of a bus or train or airplane that plies back and forth between two points
  • noun badminton equipment consisting of a ball of cork or rubber with a crown of feathers
  • noun bobbin that passes the weft thread between the warp threads
  • verb travel back and forth between two points

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English shitel, shutel, weaver's shuttle, from Old English scytel, scutel, dart; see skeud- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English scytel ("dart, arrow"), from Proto-Germanic *skutilaz (compare Old Norse skutill ("harpoon")), from *skut- (“project”) (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.

Examples

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