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short-cir·​cuit ˈshȯrt-ˈsər-kət How to pronounce short-circuit (audio)
short-circuited; short-circuiting; short-circuits

transitive verb

: to apply a short circuit to or establish a short circuit in

intransitive verb

: to become shunted by a short circuit
The radio short-circuited.

short circuit

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: a connection of comparatively low resistance accidentally or intentionally made between points on a circuit between which the resistance is normally much greater

Examples of short-circuit in a Sentence

Verb for decades the maverick filmmaker was short-circuited by a chronic lack of funds Noun The fire was caused by a short circuit.
Recent Examples on the Web
The up-front commitment, made before the technologies are invented, would reduce uncertainty for innovators and short-circuit efforts by individual countries to limit support to their domestic champions. Gordon H. Hanson, Foreign Affairs, 28 Feb. 2023 Elbow problems that would short-circuit his career ended his 1966 season early, keeping him out of the 1966 World Series. Paul McCardell, Baltimore Sun, 28 Mar. 2024
As a result, water may leak into the cameras and short circuit. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 25 June 2024 The gel’s structure also resists the formation of dendrites, the needle-like structures that can form on the anode during charging and cause short circuits. IEEE Spectrum, 18 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for short-circuit 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'short-circuit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1867, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of short-circuit was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near short-circuit



short circuit

Cite this Entry

“Short-circuit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to make a short circuit in or have a short circuit

short circuit

2 of 2 noun
: an electrical connection made between points in an electric circuit between which current does not normally flow
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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