short

adjective
\ ˈshȯrt How to pronounce short (audio) \

Definition of short

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having little length
b : not tall or high : low
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
3a of a speech sound : having a relatively short duration
b : 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
4 : limited in distance a short trip
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 privation
d : insufficiently supplied short of breath short of cash short on brains
6a : abrupt, curt I'm sorry I was short with you
b : quickly provoked a short temper
8 : payable at an early date a short loan
9a : containing or cooked with shortening also : flaky short pastry
b of metal : brittle under certain conditions
10a : not lengthy or drawn out a short speech
b : made briefer : abbreviated
11a : not having goods or property that one has sold in anticipation of a fall in prices
b : 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 : near the end of a tour of duty
in short order
: with dispatch : quickly

short

adverb

Definition of short (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in a curt manner
2 : for or during a brief time short-lasting
3 : at a disadvantage : unawares caught short
4 : in an abrupt manner : suddenly the car stopped short
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 : clean across the axle was snapped short
7 : by or as if by a short sale

short

noun

Definition of short (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : the sum and substance : upshot
2a : a short syllable
b : a short sound or signal
3 shorts plural
a : a by-product of wheat milling that includes the germ, fine bran, and some flour
b : refuse, clippings, or trimmings discarded in various manufacturing processes
4a : knee-length or less than knee-length trousers usually used in plural
b shorts plural : short drawers
c : a size in clothing for short men
5a : one who operates on the short side of the market
b shorts plural : short-term bonds
6 shorts plural : deficiencies
b : a brief story or article (as in a newspaper)
for short
: as an abbreviation named Katherine or Kate for short
in short
: by way of summary : briefly

short

verb
shorted; shorting; shorts

Definition of short (Entry 4 of 4)

1 transitive + intransitive : short-circuit The electrical system also received upgrades: Most rooms had only three or fewer outlets, and plugging in multiple devices usually shorted the circuit.— Steven Wyman-Blackburn The housing association gave her a "temperamental" electric shower but this cannot be used as the time as other electric items—including the television—as it will cause the circuit to short.— Anna Slater often used with out in U.S. English… microscopic particles of airborne dust are large enough to short out the chip's circuitry.— Michael Rothschild… were sabotaging the system by deliberately entering incorrect information into the computers and, if all else failed, hosing the computers down until they shorted out.— John Sedgwick
2 transitive, informal : shortchange, cheat When she returned minutes later, she handed me a twenty-dollar bill and a five. No change and no receipt, which meant I couldn't call her on the fact that she'd shorted Henry by sixty-six cents.— Sue Grafton
3 transitive, finance : to sell (a security) short in expectation of a fall in prices a heavily shorted stock Today [in 2003], only two per cent of all United States stock-market shares are shorted, and even with looser restrictions short selling is likely to remain uncommon.— James Surowiecki

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Other Words from short

Adjective

shortish \ ˈshȯr-​tish How to pronounce short (audio) \ adjective
shortness \ ˈshȯrt-​nəs How to pronounce short (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for short

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of short in a Sentence

Adjective One of my legs is slightly shorter than the other. He is short for his age. the shortest day of the year Life's too short to worry about the past. The movie was very short. You have done a lot in a short space of time. a short burst of speed I've only lived here for a short time. She has made great progress in a few short years. He visited for two short weeks. Adverb He threw the ball short. the bicyclist ahead of me unexpectedly pulled up short and I unavoidably plowed into him Noun The short before the main movie was very funny. Verb The lightning shorted the TV. The hair dryer must have shorted.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Prison sentences in the case were relatively short. Larry Neumeister, ajc, "Appeals court OKs convictions in college basketball scandal," 15 Jan. 2021 Prison sentences in the case were relatively short. Larry Neumeister, Star Tribune, "Appeals court OKs convictions in college basketball scandal," 15 Jan. 2021 Brooks set a 45-day period for public comment, which the industry said was way too short -- leaving less than two weeks for the OCC to review arguments from lenders and Democratic lawmakers who oppose the rule. Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg.com, "Wall Street Fumes at 11th-Hour Rule From Trump Bank Watchdog," 14 Jan. 2021 Training camps were short, and there were no preseason games, only scrimmages. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, "The NHL is set for a strange season. Here's why it will be among the most unusual in history.," 12 Jan. 2021 Wolf’s tenure at DHS was short but included a number of achievements for the Trump administration, as well as lawsuits waged by liberal organizations. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stepping down from Trump administration," 11 Jan. 2021 The collar should not be so short that there is space left between the points and the jacket's lapel, and not so long that the tips pop up over the jacket. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MALE CALL: Going tieless requires specific shirt to look well dressed," 11 Jan. 2021 As a bonus for those of us often lacking life force, the books are usually pretty short. Lauren Oyler, Harpers Magazine, "Reality Under My Skin," 5 Jan. 2021 Royal Prince: Nothing wrong with this one’s form: price will be short though today. Michael Beychok, NOLA.com, "Check out Chok's Choices for Sunday's Fair Grounds races," 2 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb After a quick Chelsea three-and-out, the Panthers put together a 14-play drive on their next possession, only to come up short in the red zone when Chelsea’s Ben Strzyzewski broke up a fourth-down pass. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, "River Rouge runs over Chelsea, 30-22, for a chance to defend Division 3 state title," 17 Jan. 2021 New Orleans might have come up short against a title contender, but some positives came of it, none bigger than Alexander-Walker's breakout game. Christian Clark, NOLA.com, "Nickeil Alexander-Walker explodes for 37 as Pelicans come up just short against Clippers," 13 Jan. 2021 Johnson was slowed by a three-putt bogey on the 14th and a 3-iron that caught enough of a gust to come up short on the par-5 15th and roll back into the water, leading to another bogey. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Masters 2020 live stream (11/14): How to watch Saturday coverage online, TV, time," 14 Nov. 2020 Backers of President Trump descended on Washington, D.C., Saturday in another sign of support for the president who has come up short in his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Trump supporters to rally in DC after Supreme Court delivers president another defeat," 13 Dec. 2020 Olivia Santana lost her 2020 mayoral bid, one of several veteran Black women politicians to come up short. Gladys Mitchell-walthour, The Conversation, "‘My vote will be Black’ – A wave of Afro-Brazilian women ran for office in 2020 but found glass ceiling hard to break," 24 Nov. 2020 The Jaguars have had opportunities to win a game during each of the past two weeks, only to come up short. oregonlive, "Jake Luton struggles during the Jacksonville Jaguars' loss to the Green Bay Packers," 15 Nov. 2020 Johnson was slowed by a three-putt bogey on the 14th and a 3-iron that caught enough of a gust to come up short on the par-5 15th and roll back into the water, leading to another bogey. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Masters 2020 live stream (11/14): How to watch Saturday coverage online, TV, time," 14 Nov. 2020 Johnson was slowed by a three-putt bogey on the 14th and a 3-iron that caught enough of a gust to come up short on the par-5 15th and roll back into the water, leading to another bogey. Doug Ferguson, chicagotribune.com, "Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are among a 4-way tie for the lead at the Masters," 13 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Schultz has provided Dallas a consistent short-to-intermediate option who can be effective as the first option in a progression or as the check down. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys players who have improved during Dallas’ lost season," 30 Nov. 2020 Ecker said the fire, which he was told appeared to be from an electrical short, was discovered by a cook arriving for work. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "Kountry Kitchen, Rusted Silo back in action to serve customers," 5 Nov. 2020 The Anti-lock Brake Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) could corrode internally and cause an electrical short, possibly resulting in an engine compartment fire. USA TODAY, "Car recalls for September 17-24," 24 Sep. 2020 This spin-off short tells the origin story of Olaf, the innocent and insightful, summer-loving snowman from that franchise. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Adele and Rihanna, please save us from 2020 with new music," 22 Oct. 2020 The company said water can get into the antilock brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly an engine fire. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, "Hyundai warns owners to park outside, recalls 180,000 SUVs," 11 Sep. 2020 Patagonia's political tag went viral after Twitter user @CoreyCiorciari posted a photo of the short's tag on Sept. 11. Coral Murphy, USA TODAY, "'Vote the a-holes out': Patagonia's new tag want to stand up to climate deniers," 16 Sep. 2020 For the second time this month, Hyundai is telling some SUV owners to park outdoors because an electrical short in a computer could cause vehicles to catch fire. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, "Hyundai warns owners to park outside, recalls 180,000 SUVs," 11 Sep. 2020 Brake fluid may leak inside the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU), possibly resulting in an electrical short. Detroit Free Press, "Car safety recalls for August 27-Sept. 3," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nobody quite fit Campbell’s open-field ability on screens, jet sweeps and short out routes. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts might have found another undrafted gem in wide receiver DeMichael Harris," 22 Oct. 2020 Dyson ended up scoring the tying run, on a grounder to short with two outs that shortstop Jorge Polanco could have been quicker on. La Velle E. Neal Iii, Star Tribune, "Twins fall 4-3 to White Sox; Josh Donaldson ejected while hitting home run," 18 Sep. 2020 Laredo City Council on Tuesday voted to gather a coalition of leaders from fellow cities and counties that have been shorted in this funding in order to lobby Congress and Gov. Greg Abbott to amend the distribution calculation. Julia Wallace, Houston Chronicle, "Webb County receives only $37K in coronavirus relief funds from state government," 28 May 2020 The paychecks of about 54,000 people are still being shorted to repay past-due student loans, despite a federal moratorium that has been in place for six weeks, according to court documents filed late Monday by the Trump administration. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump administration is still garnishing the wages of 54,000 student loan borrowers," 12 May 2020 Bearish bets in Wayfair were at $8.11 billion with 23.18 million shares shorted, or 38% of float, according to S3 data. Janet Freund, Bloomberg.com, "Wayfair Shares Rise to Record While Short Sellers Get Clobbered," 10 May 2020 If the college football season gets shorted or canceled altogether, what happens to funding for the non-revenue sports then? oregonlive, "Granting athletes in spring sports another season of eligibility creates other problems: Oregon track & field rundown," 31 Mar. 2020 Still, the gains that investors generate from short selling can quickly evaporate if the broader market or individual stocks that are heavily shorted start to rebound. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "How some investors have profited from the stock market's huge losses," 31 Mar. 2020 The Thunder have essentially shorted the futures of three NBA teams. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Russell Westbrook Plays for the Rockets. Why Not?," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'short.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of short

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for short

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for short

Time Traveler

The first known use of short was before the 12th century

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Statistics for short

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Short.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/short. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for short

short

adjective
How to pronounce short (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of short

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: 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

short

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of short (Entry 2 of 4)

: 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

short

noun

English Language Learners Definition of short (Entry 3 of 4)

: pants that end at or above the knees
: a short movie
British : a small amount of liquor that you drink quickly

short

verb

English Language Learners Definition of short (Entry 4 of 4)

: to cause (something) to have a short circuit
: to stop working because of a short circuit

short

adjective
\ ˈshȯrt How to pronounce short (audio) \
shorter; shortest

Kids Definition of short

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not long or tall short hair a short boy short stories
2 : not great in distance a short trip
3 : not lasting long : brief in time a short delay a short memory
4 : cut down to a brief length “Doc” is short for “doctor.”
5 : less than the usual or needed amount Fruit was in short supply. We met on short notice.
6 : having less than what is needed : not having enough I'm short of money. The team was short two players.
7 : not reaching far enough The throw was short.
8 : easily stirred up a short temper
9 : rudely brief I didn't mean to be short with you.
10 : of, relating to, or being one of the vowel sounds \ə, a, e, i, u̇\ and sometimes \ä\ and \ȯ\

Other Words from short

shortness noun

short

adverb

Kids Definition of short (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : with suddenness I stopped short.
2 : to or at a point that is not as far as expected or desired He threw the ball short.

short

noun

Kids Definition of short (Entry 3 of 3)

1 shorts plural : pants that reach to or almost to the knees
2 shorts plural : short underpants
3 : something (as a movie) shorter than the usual or regular length

short

adjective

Legal Definition of short

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : treated or disposed of quickly in court the calendar for short causes
2 : having a short term short loans short leases
3a : not having goods or property that one has sold in anticipation of a fall in prices a seller who was short at the time of the sale
b : consisting of or relating to a sale of securities or commodities that the seller does not possess or has not contracted for at the time of the sale a short position — see also short sale 1 at sale
4 : not involving or providing a sufficient amount of money to cover a loan — see also short sale 2 at sale, short refinance

short

adverb

Legal Definition of short (Entry 2 of 2)

: by or as if by a short sale sold the stock short

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Comments on short

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