- an instrument containing a reel or spool of the woof thread, used in weaving to carry the thread back and forth between the warp threads
- a smaller but similar thread holder used in tatting, etc.
- a device that carries the lower thread back and forth in making a lock stitch on a sewing machine
- any of several devices having a similar to-and-fro action
- a traveling back and forth over an often short route, as by an airplane, train, bus, etc.: kept the planes in a 24-hour shuttle
- the route so traveled
- a shuttle service offered by an airline, esp. one for which reservations are not required: the New York-Washington shuttle
- an airplane, train, bus, etc. used in a shuttle
- space shuttle
Origin of shuttleMiddle English schutylle ; from Old English scytel, missile ; from base of sceotan, to shoot: so called because shot to and fro with the thread in weaving
- a. Regular travel back and forth over an established, often short route by a vehicle.b. A vehicle used in such travel: took the shuttle across town.c. A route used by a vehicle in such travel: the Washington–New York air shuttle.d. A space shuttle.e. Travel between disputing parties by a diplomatic intermediary.
- a. A device used in weaving to carry the weft thread back and forth between the warp threads.b. A device for holding the thread in tatting and netting and in a sewing machine.
verbshut·tled, shut·tling, shut·tles
- To cause to move back and forth frequently.
- To transport, especially by a shuttle: shuttle a scientific payload to an orbiting space station.
Origin of shuttleMiddle English shitel, shutel, weaver's shuttle, from Old English scytel, scutel, dart; see skeud- in Indo-European roots.
- The part of a loom that carries the woof back and forth between the warp threads.
- 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.
- A transport service (such as a bus or train) that goes back and forth between two places.
- 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).
- A shutter, as for a channel for molten metal.
(third-person singular simple present shuttles, present participle shuttling, simple past and past participle shuttled)
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.