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
(2) : unstressed
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 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
8 : shortstop
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)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: short-circuit often used with out in U.S. English … 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

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Other Words from short

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for short

Synonyms: Adjective

little, low, low-lying, low-slung, sawed-off

Synonyms: Adverb

abruptly, suddenly

Synonyms: Verb

beat, bilk, bleed, cheat, chisel, chouse, con, cozen, defraud, diddle, do, do in, euchre, fiddle, fleece, flimflam, gaff, gyp, hose [slang], hustle, mulct, nobble [British slang], pluck, ream, rip off, rook, screw, shake down, shortchange, skin, skunk, squeeze, stick, stiff, sting, sucker, swindle, thimblerig, victimize

Antonyms: Adjective

altitudinous, high, lofty, tall, towering

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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

Harry's family had sent Hamilton a short video in which the child wishes the racer luck in the race in Barcelona. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Formula 1 Champ Lewis Hamilton Sends His Race Car to Terminally Ill Five-Year-Old Fan Harry Shaw," 14 May 2019 In short, our military must have the ability to see what is going on around the world, quickly and without interruption. Heather Wilson, Popular Mechanics, "Op-Ed: USAF Secretary on the Future of Science and Tech in the Air Force," 18 Apr. 2019 So, in short, Comer, whose prior work includes lauded turns in the BBC’s Thirteen and Starz’s The White Princess, is quickly emerging as one of the most talented actors of her generation. Danielle Stein Chizzik, Town & Country, "Jodie Comer Is Hollywood’s Next Great Chameleon," 8 Apr. 2019 Sergio Garcia had an 8-foot putt to win the hole and left it 4 inches short, a frustrating miss. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Kuchar, Garcia caught in flap over putt not conceded," 30 Mar. 2019 But other types, such as erythromycin and tetracycline, may not be recommended or may be reserved only for more severe cases or short-term use. Nikhita Mahtani, SELF, "How to Safely Treat Your Postpartum Acne," 24 Apr. 2019 The good news: Plenty of home remedies can help promote healing and reduce discomfort in the short term. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of a Sunburn ASAP," 16 Apr. 2019 William Karlsson added a short-handed goal in the third to ice it. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Golden Knights tie series with Sharks with 5-3 win in Game 2," 13 Apr. 2019 That would reduce mosquito bites in the short term — only females bite — and open the door to shrinking wild populations through genetic engineering. Malcolm Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Science Says: Why scientists prize plant, animal genomes," 3 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But too many fall short—more than a quarter of big company audits are considered substandard by the regulator. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Regulators Propose Sweeping Changes to U.K. Audit Industry," 18 Apr. 2019 Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman closed things out with a perfect inning each for New York, a refreshingly clean showing for a struggling, short-handed bullpen. Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Sabathia cruises in return from angioplasty, Yanks 1-hit CHW," 13 Apr. 2019 Back in the 80s, The Face focused in on new romanticism, a short-lived subculture that combined elements of punk and glam rock, but without the nihilism and anti-fashion pillars of Punk. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "The Youth Culture Magazine That Put Naomi Campbell and Missy Elliot on the Cover Is Relaunching," 1 Apr. 2019 Since their short-lived relationship was pre-Instagram, there's not a ton of info on the couple, though Cody did joke about their breakup on Hello Ross. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About All of Kylie Jenner's Ex-Boyfriends," 20 Mar. 2019 Over the past decade, Iran has frequently test-fired and displayed missiles, sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space. Nasser Karimi, The Seattle Times, "Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution," 11 Feb. 2019 Over the course of his life, John F. Kennedy spent time with many famous faces, but perhaps his most curious friendship was his short-lived camaraderie with entertainer Frank Sinatra. Lee Server, Town & Country, "The Real Reason Frank Sinatra Was Banned from the Kennedy White House," 7 Nov. 2018 Netanyahu cut short a visit to the U.S. and rushed back to Israel on Tuesday to deal with the crisis. Isabel Debre, The Seattle Times, "Israel bombs targets in Gaza as rocket fire resumes," 27 Mar. 2019 The motor is very short ranged, in the region of a few hundred yards. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Iran Shows off Unusual Ship-Killing Torpedo/Missile Combination," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wearing all neutrals, the boys donned shorts and tights while the girls wore white dresses with mauve sashes. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Eugenie & Jack's Bridesmaids and Pageboys Wore Less Traditional Looks Than Meghan & Harry's," 12 Oct. 2018 Ashley and Van Dusen’s brother wore shorts and black shirts with suspenders and bow ties. Alex Pulaski, latimes.com, "Say 'I do' and save money? Whoever thought you'd say that in the same sentence? But a cruise means both can happen," 10 June 2018 The child was wearing green shorts and socks at the time. Staff, cleveland.com, "Comment here on cleveland.com court and crime stories for Saturday, May 12, 2018," 12 May 2018 Voters in some areas were turned away by election officials for wearing shorts and flip-flops, despite a statement from the Electoral Commission's chairman the day before that there wouldn't be a dress code for voters. Euan Mckirdy, CNN, "Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad set to become world's oldest leader," 10 May 2018 The man was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and in his early 20s with short, curly hair, wearing jean shorts and a red shirt, police said. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Police seek couple who allegedly assaulted woman with umbrella in Worcester," 3 May 2018 Traditionally, festival-goers are down to wear just about everything, from designer dresses to just a bikini top and denim shorts. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "These Coachella Outfit Ideas Are So Good, You'll Be Watching the Likes Roll In," 7 Mar. 2019 And, most unexpectedly, shorts have become the new pants. Samuel Hine, GQ, "The Daring New Trend in Pants Is…Shorts," 2 July 2018 LeBron James traded his pregame suit and shorts look for a much more colorful outfit ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "The purple suede shoes LeBron James wore to Game 3 are fireproof," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Objects can roll around in flight, shorting out electrical equipment and damaging other equipment. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Halts Tanker Deliveries After Finding Planes Are Full of Trash," 4 Mar. 2019 Yelich took a changeup to run the count to 1–2, and then grounded out to short on a four-seamer. Michael Beller, SI.com, "By Adding a Cutter to His Arsenal, Cardinals Ace Carlos Martinez Is Even More Dangerous," 5 Apr. 2018 Sandberg also came under fire for reportedly asking whether Soros had shorted Facebook’s stock. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook’s very bad year, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 Musk himself wound up in several spats with, variously, Donald Trump, media outlets, Azealia Banks, and investors who short Tesla. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO," 21 Dec. 2018 The parties settled a couple of months later, but the producer still feels he's being shorted because of the studio's accounting practices. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gilmore Girls' Producer Files New Lawsuit Over Series Profits," 15 Mar. 2018 Some may remember him as the trader who shorted drug companies after trash-talking them. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Martin Shkreli’s journey from pharma executive to inmate No. 87850-053," 9 Mar. 2018 Some may remember him as the trader who shorted drug companies after trash-talking them. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "How Martin Shkreli Went From Pharma Executive to Inmate #87850-053," 8 Mar. 2018 Some may remember him as the trader who shorted drug companies after trash-talking them. Patricia Hurtad, chicagotribune.com, "Martin Shkreli's journey from pharma exec to Inmate #87850-053," 8 Mar. 2018

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 transitive 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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Learn More about short

Dictionary Entries near short

shorl

shorn

shors

short

short account

shortage

short and

Statistics for short

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for short

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

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More Definitions for short

short

adjective

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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More from Merriam-Webster on short

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for short

Spanish Central: Translation of short

Nglish: Translation of short for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of short for Arabic Speakers

Comments on short

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