Definition of shuttle in US English:



  • 1A form of transportation that travels regularly between two places.

    ‘the nine o'clock shuttle from Boston’
    as modifier ‘a shuttle bus service from the city center’
    • ‘Free shuttle buses transport visitors between the two parks.’
    • ‘A free shuttle bus service, to and from Hong Shulin MRT station, begins at 1pm and runs every half hour.’
    • ‘The council wants the Commonhead park and ride system to save costs by taking advantage of the existing shuttle bus service operating from the hospital.’
    • ‘So why can't Pattaya have a shuttle bus service with comprehensive routes around the region?’
    • ‘A happy tired morning or whole afternoon later, laden with one's bargains, it's back to the shuttle bus for the ride back to Panaji.’
    • ‘Paris has two airports, which both operate a regular shuttle bus service to the Disney resort, taking 45 minutes.’
    • ‘Parking at the convention stinks but there's an excellent shuttle bus system which is explained on this page of the con website.’
    • ‘Why didn't you tell me there was a shuttle bus up to the Alhambra when I asked you for directions?’
    • ‘People assume that driving is the only way to get there, but they should not forget the free shuttle bus from the Metrolink's Stretford station.’
    • ‘At the Fort Lauderdale airport station 15 passengers de-trained and raced to the airport shuttle.’
    • ‘This took time, and as I walked out of the terminal, I saw the shuttle bus to the railway station heading off into the distance.’
    • ‘Lynch used to ride the hotel shuttle to the game with former Bucs defensive tackle Brad Culpepper, his old roomie.’
    • ‘Volunteers who have official accreditation passes will be able to avail of free transport on the shuttle busses to the venues.’
    • ‘After I checked into the hotel, I took a courtesy shuttle back to the airport to catch the Blue Line toward Wrigley Field.’
    • ‘Each morning a ski shuttle will bring them up to the slopes of Loon and surrounding mountains.’
    • ‘In light of this, it has come to my attention that the shuttle bus service is now to be re-christened Perk and Ride.’
    • ‘Visitors parked about 75 cars there to use the shuttle bus service to the memorial ceremony at the crash site.’
    • ‘Local businesses reported brisk trade over the weekend, with a shuttle bus ferrying visitors in and out of the town of Ballinrobe all day Saturday.’
    • ‘The shuttle buses have seen a 21 per cent rise in passengers over the past year, breaking the two million figure for the first time.’
    • ‘There needs to be a shuttle bus service to cut the number of vehicles going to the Infirmary.’
    1. 1.1
      short for space shuttle
      • ‘There aren't fast or slow shuttles but warm conditions do speed up the shuttle's flight, a bit like when tyres on a Formula One car can go quicker because they're hotter.’
      • ‘We watched the shuttle and the space station fly overhead tonight.’
      • ‘Finally, with a lurch, the shuttle disengaged from the station and began its wild descent to the planet below.’
      • ‘Back in 1985 and early 86, there was pressure to meet the goal of flying the shuttle 24 times a year.’
      • ‘China takes over the International Space Station and begins upgrading it, using a Hermes plane as a shuttle for the station’
      • ‘Suppose the shuttle sprang a leak and began losing its air supply.’
      • ‘Dr. Bonnie Dunbar set the US space record of 112 days in space aboard the shuttle and Russian space station Mir.’
      • ‘He will perform two or three spacewalks while the shuttle is docked to the international space station.’
      • ‘Strangely, none of the powerful planetary sensor stations could detect the shuttle or its four occupants.’
      • ‘In the event of an emergency on the launch pad, the astronauts can evacuate the shuttle up to 30 seconds before launch.’
      • ‘NASA has conferred and discussed moving the shuttle to a hangar, and all of that to prepare as Dennis approaches.’
      • ‘NASA's three shuttles were secured in the orbiter processing facility.’
      • ‘As the NASA shuttle orbiting the Earth docked with the Mir space station, the hacker disrupted the computer systems monitoring the medical conditions of the crew.’
      • ‘The shuttle never achieved its lofty launch schedule promised early in the program.’
      • ‘Among the Columbia's three assigned shuttlecraft was a fourth, the shuttle from the Independence.’
      • ‘Gernhardt and Reilly will perform the planned spacewalks, while Kavandi operates the shuttle's robotic arm.’
      • ‘This will be Noguchi's first flight into space, and he will be the fifth Japanese astronaut to fly aboard the shuttle.’
      • ‘Is there a danger that in trying to launch so many shuttles each year, corners will be cut, mistakes will be missed, and risks will be introduced?’
      • ‘Another possibility is that the shuttle came back into earth's orbit at an improper angle.’
      • ‘On the launchpad the shuttle weighs four and a half million pounds.’
  • 2A wooden device with two pointed ends holding a bobbin, used for carrying the weft thread between the warp threads in weaving.

    • ‘Different colored silks and metal threads have their own separate shuttles and are painstakingly worked backwards and forwards through the warps to create the complex design bands at each end of the textile.’
    • ‘Not much later, she was settled into a comfortable rhythm, the shuttle darting in and out between the warp threads.’
    • ‘Also on display on the cart are accessories once familiar to thousands of East Lancashire weavers - shuttles and pirns on which weft yarn was wound.’
    1. 2.1 A bobbin carrying the lower thread in a sewing machine.
      • ‘Sara lowered her gaze to the tatting shuttle in her hand.’
  • 3

    short for shuttlecock
    • ‘Start with one person standing just in front of the player throwing shuttles up into the backhand side.’
    • ‘She eventually lost her cool when the Chinese left-hander wanted to change the shuttle after messing up a return.’
    • ‘I readied myself just behind the service line and kicked off as soon as the shuttle touched my racket.’
    • ‘I looked at the number of courts set up in the gym and saw the shuttle being played back and forwards.’
    • ‘Nathan first played at six, Gail at four, her mother lobbing shuttles at her as she wielded a specially shortened racket.’
    • ‘Though as per the International Badminton Federation regulations, shuttles of three speeds should be made available.’
    • ‘Rallies last far longer than in tennis - about 10 shots more on average - and the shuttle is in play for roughly double the time.’


  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Travel regularly between two or more places.

    ‘he shuttled between Manhattan and Silicon Valley’
    • ‘Waiters looked after kids and pinched babies' cheeks, laughter flooded from the open kitchen and plates of food shuttled back and forth with incredible regularity.’
    • ‘They would then shuttle to and fro between the combat fleets and London, relaying information and directives.’
    • ‘In the meantime, the private players will go on finetuning the facilities they offer to regulars who shuttle between these cities.’
    • ‘The utter hopelessness of attempting to gain sleep while shuttling to and fro inside a coach is almost impossible to communicate.’
    • ‘But the idea of a vehicle that shuttles on a regular route beyond earth's gravity is awesome.’
    • ‘He is just back from a family skiing holiday in Norway and is continually shuttling to and fro, from the gleaming red motor home to the pits.’
    • ‘I will be up at New York a lot too, because a lot of the shows we have come out of New York, so I will be shuttling back and forth.’
    • ‘Expensive charter vacations now regularly shuttle wealthy Japanese tourists to Anne Shirley's Prince Edward Island.’
    • ‘There are also buses full of foreign tourists and business travellers shuttling in a dignified manner between the airport and various star hotels.’
    • ‘So you have children who are shuttled along from parents to guardians to guardians, and they have experienced this amount of abandonment and, you know, literally abandonment, and insecurity.’
    • ‘The Brighton Belle was the Pullman train, electric, of course, which shuttled to and fro between London and Brighton, beloved by theatre people and race-goers.’
    • ‘In divorced families all over the world today, the kids are being shuttled from the mom's house to the dad's possibly, bringing up one more fight about custody, unless your agreement anticipated this.’
    • ‘The economy is made in the scale of a trip for 40 or so divers sharing minibuses and vans, with club boats shuttling in and out all day long.’
    • ‘Soon she was shuttling regularly to Gdansk via Berlin to take advantage of cheap flights.’
    • ‘Dubey had married Nalini, a Malayali in early September and now plans to shuttle between his present base in Mumbai and the forthcoming centre here.’
    • ‘The Taiwan people shuttling between the two cities have brought travel agencies in Taiwan brisk business.’
    • ‘While shuttling between the late 1960s and new millennium, the focus lingers claustrophobically on one hot summer holiday, by the seaside, when Julian's father was called away from his family and back to the prison.’
    • ‘On Thursdays he also runs a badminton clubs for other school pupils at York RI in Queen Street where rackets and shuttles are provided alongside the 90 minute coaching sessions.’
    • ‘The perfect pit stop for weekenders shuttling between the dramatic scenery of Loch Torridon and the quirky exotic gardens at Inverewe, Gairloch's friendly Old Inn is set back from the village's small harbour in a pretty valley.’
    • ‘At 4: 30, shuttles begin taking players to the airport.’
    ply, run, commute, alternate, come and go, go back and forth, travel back and forth, go to and fro, travel to and fro
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Transport in a shuttle.
      ‘the river taxi shuttled employees between the newspaper's offices and the capital’
      • ‘Ferries have been shuttling people on the 6.2-mile trip between Manhattan and Staten Island since 1713.’
      • ‘Periodically, float planes cruised by, shuttling their passengers home from the San Juan Islands.’
      • ‘A ferry will still shuttle you and your car to Ryer Island.’
      • ‘Along with about two-dozen other bank employees being shuttled to work on a minibus, Shakir was waiting at the same checkpoint.’
      • ‘Wind the clock forward half a millennia or so and Queen Elizabeth II wears the crown, and Hythe ferry is still shuttling passengers across Southampton Water.’
      • ‘On Election Day the county Democratic leaders would drive around the rural areas picking up African-American voters and shuttling them to the polls.’
      • ‘After the rowers were shuttled off to the hotel for a night of rest, the parents ate a lovely dinner by the lake and watched the sun set.’
      • ‘Both men served in the 37th Field Transfusion Unit where Mr Wilson was the driver and responsible for shuttling plasma to injured soldiers aboard his little refrigerated truck.’
      • ‘Free ferries shuttle pedestrians across the channel when the bridge is open.’
      • ‘Currently, on certain tides, the ferries have to moor in the harbour and passengers are shuttled to the pier in smaller passenger boats or timetables have to be changed to accommodate the low tides.’
      • ‘The exhibition feels like a trade show with art as a by product, an image overflow holding pen for bored commuters with time to spare as they shuttle to the airport.’
      • ‘We saw a woman who was being pulled off a Coast Guard helicopter late yesterday afternoon who we were told was in labor as she was being shuttled inside the airport terminal.’
      • ‘Not even movie-makers could not resist the pull of Marigot Bay and Hollywood stars were shuttled there to shoot scenes for the Dr Dolittle movie.’
      • ‘Still leading, the Camaro is heading for a turn-off which leads to the Albion ferry, a car and passenger ferry which shuttles traffic between Maple Ridge City and the suburb of Langley.’
      • ‘It's a piercingly bright day in Bournemouth, the sea is sparkling, the little blue road-train is shuttling tourists down to the pier, and inflation is at its lowest rate in 30 years.’
      • ‘The tunnels are quite long and many employees who's job it is to shuttle stuff back and forth throughout headquarters drive little golf cart.’
      • ‘The ferries that used to shuttle area residents along the river stopped in the 1950s when a highway cut the neighborhood off from the waterfront.’
      • ‘The Concorde has been shuttling passengers across the Atlantic across twice the speed of sound for 30 years.’
      • ‘Water trucks were shuttled in from nearby Vladivostok, so we were at least able to ‘flush’ the toilet.’
      • ‘Sitting under the huge canvas and wooden umbrella outside the restaurant, watching waiters in traditional Chinese costumes shuttling back and forth, you will find business does not belong to you any longer on such a relaxed evening.’
      ferry, run back and forth, take back and forth, chauffeur
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Old English scytel ‘dart, missile’, of Germanic origin; compare with Old Norse skutill ‘harpoon’; related to shoot. Sense 1 and the verb are from the movement of the bobbin from one side of the loom to the other and back.