English Wikipedia has articles on:
A weaving shuttle.


From a merger of two words:

The name for a 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.


  • Rhymes: -ʌtəl
  • (file)


shuttle (plural shuttles)

  1. (weaving) The part of a loom that carries the woof back and forth between the warp threads.
    • 1611, King James Version, Job 7:6:
      My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
    • 1638, George Sandys, "A Paraphrase upon Job":
      Like shuttles through the loom, so swiftly glide
      My feather'd hours, and all my hopes deride!.
  2. 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. A transport service (such as a bus or train) that goes back and forth between two places, sometimes more.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, pages 76, 77:
      And until December 2010 the northern stretch of the 'Extension' featured a charming side-show: the Chesham Shuttle. [...] But the people of Chesham moaned about the shuttle: the waiting room at Chalfont & Latimer was too hot, or too cold; there were leaves on the line. [...] On 12 Dec 2010 the shuttle ceased operations and Metropolitan trains began to terminate at both Amersham and Chesham.
  4. Such a transport vehicle; a shuttle bus; a space shuttle.
    • 2004, Dawn of the Dead, 1:14:20:
      You're saying we take the parking shuttles, reinforce them with aluminum siding and then head to the gun store where our friend Andy plays some cowboy-movie, jump-on-the-wagon bullshit.
  5. 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).
  6. A shuttlecock.
  7. A shutter, as for a channel for molten metal.

Usage notesEdit

Strictly speaking, a shuttle goes back and forth between two places. However, the term is also used more generally for short-haul transport that may be one-way or have multiple stops (including shared ride or loop), particularly for airport buses; compare loose usage of limousine.


  • Dutch: shuttle
  • Italian: shuttle
  • Japanese: シャトル (shatoru)



shuttle (third-person singular simple present shuttles, present participle shuttling, simple past and past participle shuttled)

  1. (intransitive) To go back and forth between two places.
  2. (transitive) To transport by shuttle or by means of a shuttle service.
    Synonym: chauffeur


Derived termsEdit




Borrowed from English shuttle.



shuttle m (plural shuttles, diminutive shuttletje n)

  1. A space shuttle.
  2. A shuttlecock, shuttle.
    Synonyms: pluimbal, vederbal
  3. A shuttle bus.



From English shuttle


shuttle m (invariable)

  1. space shuttle