Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

shut-in - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

noun American
  1. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    a recluse; a person who abnormally avoids any social contact by staying indoors most of the time

    Don't be such a shut-in. Paint the town red for once!

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 08/12/2015
  2. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    someone who is forced to stay indoors, because they are ill or disabled

    Many elderly shut-ins once tended gardens of their own.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 22/03/2017


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play