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

Definition of short-circuit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : 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


Definition of short circuit (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Noun The fire was caused by a short circuit.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was no short circuit on an electrical device in his room. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 10 June 2022 Senegal’s health minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, told local media the blaze appeared to have been caused by a short circuit, Reuters reported. Anisha Kukreja, NBC News, 26 May 2022 Sarr, who was was attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, cut short his trip to return to Senegal and told Rfm that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. Babacar Dione, ajc, 30 May 2022 In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit engulfed a building in New Delhi and killed 43 people. Fox News, 14 May 2022 In August, Syria’s state media said a short circuit triggered an explosion in the gas tank of a bus carrying soldiers, killing one and wounding three. NBC News, 20 Oct. 2021 Before his dismissal, Sarr told local radio station RFM that the blaze which engulfed the Tivaouane hospital's newborn unit was caused by an electrical short circuit. Nimi Princewill, CNN, 27 May 2022 The fire was blamed on an electrical short circuit at the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, a town 75 miles northeast of the capital, Dakar, Mayor Demba Diop said. Babacar Dione, USA TODAY, 26 May 2022 The country's health minister, Diouf Sarr, said the fire likely started from an electrical short circuit. Kelsee Majette, The Week, 26 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of short-circuit


1867, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1854, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for short-circuit

Time Traveler

The first known use of short-circuit was in 1854

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Cite this Entry

“Short-circuit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for short-circuit

short circuit


Kids Definition of short circuit

: an electrical connection made between points in an electric circuit between which current does not normally flow


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