A shunt is a small tube that goes inside the body to drain fluid. It also means to divert in a general way, like if you shunt the thought of tubes in your body, you think about rainbows and kittens instead.

Although shunt usually refers to a tube that drains blood or other fluid out of a part of the body, shunt also means to bypass. If a train is shunted, it’s diverted from the main track onto a side track. The word may have come from shun, as in “turn away,” which is what a shunt essentially does. It turns something away from where it was headed.

Definitions of shunt

n a conductor having low resistance in parallel with another device to divert a fraction of the current

bypass, electrical shunt
Type of:
a device designed to transmit electricity, heat, etc.

n a passage by which a bodily fluid (especially blood) is diverted from one channel to another

“an arteriovenus shunt
a surgically created shunt (usually around a damaged part)
portacaval shunt
shunt that is created surgically between the portal vein and the inferior vena cava so that blood from the abdominal organs can bypass the liver
Type of:
passage, passageway
a path or channel or duct through or along which something may pass

n implant consisting of a tube made of plastic or rubber; for draining fluids within the body

Type of:
a prosthesis placed permanently in tissue

v transfer to another track, of trains

Type of:
shift, transfer
move around

v provide with or divert by means of an electrical shunt

Type of:
cause to turn away from a previous or expected course

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