short·​change ˈshȯrt-ˈchānj How to pronounce shortchange (audio)
shortchanged; shortchanging; shortchanges

transitive verb

: to give less than the correct amount of change to
: to deprive of or give less than something due : cheat
was shortchanged out of a promotion
shortchanger noun

Examples of shortchange in a Sentence

The cashier shortchanged me. I gave her 10 dollars to pay for an $8.95 book, and she only gave me a dollar back. The band shortchanged its fans by playing for only 30 minutes.
Recent Examples on the Web Discussing whether Parsons should be paid like a defensive end or linebacker would shortchange his versatility and impact. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2023 Lazy Supination Your biceps are responsible for elbow flexion and supination, and leaving this out of your curl will shortchange your workout. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 31 May 2023 But the cases largely center around fundamentally similar allegations: wrongfully billing for services and shortchanging patients. Brian Amaral,, 11 May 2023 But concerts like this don’t mean Beethoven or Mahler will be shortchanged, as SummerFest’s schedule attests. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 2023 In Illinois, for example, earmarks last year shortchanged the state $14.7 million in federal aid to improve clean water systems, according to state data and records compiled by the Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities, known as CIFA, which represents local officials. Tony Romm, Washington Post, 24 July 2023 Like the writers, who had gone on strike the previous year, actors believed they were being shortchanged as more content went digital, even as studios argued there was no way to foresee whether the digital business would succeed. Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2023 Brown bought marijuana from Varner in East Chicago earlier that day, but shortchanged him $10, according to an affidavit. Meredith Colias-Pete, Chicago Tribune, 3 June 2023 Despite getting nearly $27 billion from a tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes this year, states shortchange programs designed to prevent kids from using tobacco products and help people quit, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Jen Christensen, CNN, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shortchange.' 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

1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shortchange was in 1903

Dictionary Entries Near shortchange

Cite this Entry

“Shortchange.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


short·​change -ˈchānj How to pronounce shortchange (audio)
: to give less than the correct amount of change to
: to give less than due : cheat

More from Merriam-Webster on shortchange

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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