General English

  • noun a means of transport which goes frequently from one place to another and back again
  • noun a small object for holding thread and which takes the thread backwards and forwards when weaving or sewing with a machine
  • verb to go between two places frequently


  • noun a bus or plane which goes backwards and forwards between two places

Origin & History of “shuttle”

A shuttle is etymologically something that is ‘shot’. Indeed, the word’s Old English precursor scytel meant ‘arrow’ or ‘dart’. It comes ultimately from the prehistoric Germanic base *skaut-, *skeut-, *skut- ‘project’, which also produced English shoot and shut. there is a gap between the disappearance of Old English scytel and the emergence of shuttle in the 14th century, but they are presumably the same word (a shuttle being something that is thrown or ‘shot’ across a loom).