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short·​cut ˈshȯrt-ˌkət How to pronounce shortcut (audio)
 also  -ˈkət
: a route more direct than the one ordinarily taken
: a method or means of doing something more directly and quickly than and often not so thoroughly as by ordinary procedure
a shortcut to success
: a key or combination of keys on a computer keyboard programmed to perform a specific function when pressed
You can open any item by clicking it or by assigning it a keyboard shortcut.Christopher Breen

called also hot key


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shortcut; shortcutting

transitive verb

: to shorten (a route, a procedure, etc.) by use of a shortcut
also : circumvent

intransitive verb

: to take or use a shortcut

Examples of shortcut in a Sentence

Noun Wait, I know a shortcut. Turn left here. We took a shortcut home. Let's take the shortcut through the woods. I used a shortcut to calculate the total weight. There are no shortcuts to learning another language. Mistakes were made because too many shortcuts were taken. Verb are you sure there's no way to shortcut the entrance requirements?
Recent Examples on the Web
Canned navy beans are a superb shortcut and equivalent to dried in flavor and texture, albeit there can be more salt. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 5 May 2024 There’s also a new shortcut in the right-click menu for tabs in File Explorer, allowing users to duplicate the current tab. Richard Lawler, The Verge, 3 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for shortcut 

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


1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1915, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of shortcut was in 1637

Dictionary Entries Near shortcut

Cite this Entry

“Shortcut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
short·​cut ˈshȯrt-ˌkət How to pronounce shortcut (audio)
: a shorter, quicker, or easier way
a shortcut through the woods
a shortcut to fame


2 of 2 verb
shortcut; shortcutting
: to take or use a shortcut

More from Merriam-Webster on shortcut

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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