1. An instrument used in weaving for passing or shooting the thread of the woof from one side of the cloth to the other between the threads of the warp. "Like shuttles through the loom, so swiftly glide My feathered hours." (Sandys)

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 shutter, as for a channel for molten metal. Shuttle box, any one of numerous species of marine gastropods of the genus Volva, or Radius, having a smooth, spindle-shaped shell prolonged into a channel at each end.

Origin: Also shittle, OE. Schitel, scytyl, schetyl; cf. OE. Schitel a bolt of a door, AS. Scyttes; all from AS. Sceotan to shoot; akin to Dan. Skyttel, skytte, shuttle, dial. Sw. Skyttel, skottel. See Shoot, and cf. Shittle, Skittles.

(01 Mar 1998)