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adjective \ˈshȯrt\

Simple Definition of short

  • : extending a small distance from one end to the other end : having little length : not long

  • : not great in distance

  • : having little height : not tall

Full Definition of short

  1. 1a :  having little lengthb :  not tall or high :  low

  2. 2a :  not extended in time :  brief <a short vacation>b :  not retentive <a short memory>c :  expeditious, quick <made short work of the problem>d :  seeming to pass quickly <made great progress in just a few short years>

  3. 3a of a speech sound :  having a relatively short durationb :  being the member of a pair of similarly spelled vowel or vowel-containing sounds that is descended from a vowel that was short in duration but is no longer so and that does not necessarily have duration as its chief distinguishing feature <short i in sin>c of a syllable in prosody (1) :  of relatively brief duration (2) :  unstressed

  4. 4 :  limited in distance <a short trip>

  5. 5a :  not coming up to a measure or requirement :  insufficient <in short supply>b :  not reaching far enough <the throw to first was short>c :  enduring privationd :  insufficiently supplied <short of cash> <short on brains>

  6. 6a :  abrupt, curt <I'm sorry I was short with you>b :  quickly provoked <a short temper>

  7. 7 :  choppy 2

  8. 8 :  payable at an early date <a short loan>

  9. 9a :  containing or cooked with shortening; also :  flaky <short pastry>b of metal :  brittle under certain conditions

  10. 10a :  not lengthy or drawn out <a short speech>b :  made briefer :  abbreviated

  11. 11a :  not having goods or property that one has sold in anticipation of a fall in pricesb :  consisting of, relating to, or engaging in the sale of securities or commodities that the seller does not possess or has not contracted for at the time of the sale <short sale> <a short seller>

  12. 12 :  near the end of a tour of duty

short·ish play \ˈshȯr-tish\ adjective
short·ness play \ˈshȯrt-nəs\ noun
in short order
  1. :  with dispatch :  quickly

Examples of short

  1. One of my legs is slightly shorter than the other.

  2. He is short for his age.

  3. the shortest day of the year

  4. Life's too short to worry about the past.

  5. The movie was very short.

  6. You have done a lot in a short space of time.

  7. a short burst of speed

  8. I've only lived here for a short time.

  9. She has made great progress in a few short years.

  10. He visited for two short weeks.

Origin of short

Middle English, from Old English sceort; akin to Old High German scurz short, Old Norse skortr lack

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of short

  • : to or at a point that is not as far as expected or desired : to a point not reaching what is needed for something

  • : in a sudden manner

  • : for or during a short time

Full Definition of short

  1. 1 :  in a curt manner

  2. 2 :  for or during a brief time <short-lasting>

  3. 3 :  at a disadvantage :  unawares <caught short>

  4. 4 :  in an abrupt manner :  suddenly <the car stopped short>

  5. 5 :  at some point or degree before a goal or limit aimed at or under consideration <the bombs fell short> <quit a month short of graduation>

  6. 6 :  clean across <the axle was snapped short>

  7. 7 :  by or as if by a short sale

Examples of short

  1. He threw the ball short.

  2. <the bicyclist ahead of me unexpectedly pulled up short and I unavoidably plowed into him>

14th Century

First Known Use of short

14th century




Simple Definition of short

  • shorts : pants that end at or above the knees

  • : a short movie

  • : a small amount of liquor that you drink quickly

Full Definition of short

  1. 1 :  the sum and substance :  upshot

  2. 2a :  a short syllableb :  a short sound or signal

  3. 3 plural a :  a by-product of wheat milling that includes the germ, fine bran, and some flourb :  refuse, clippings, or trimmings discarded in various manufacturing processes

  4. 4a :  knee-length or less than knee-length trousers —usually used in pluralb plural :  short drawersc :  a size in clothing for short men

  5. 5a :  one who operates on the short side of the marketb plural :  short-term bonds

  6. 6 plural :  deficiencies

  7. 7 :  short circuit

  8. 8 :  shortstop

  9. 9a :  short subjectb :  a brief story or article (as in a newspaper)

for short
  1. :  as an abbreviation <named Katherine or Kate for short>

in short
  1. :  by way of summary :  briefly

Examples of short

  1. The short before the main movie was very funny.

Circa 1586

First Known Use of short

circa 1586



transitive verb

Simple Definition of short

  • : to cause (something) to have a short circuit

  • : to stop working because of a short circuit

Full Definition of short

  1. 1 :  short-circuit

  2. 2 :  shortchange, cheat

  3. 3 :  to sell (a security) short in expectation of a fall in prices

Examples of short

  1. The lightning shorted the TV.

  2. The hair dryer must have shorted.


First Known Use of short


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up short? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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