\ 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
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



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



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
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


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


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for short

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 In his first game back since tearing a ligament in his left index finger Nov. 1, Green had four points, seven rebounds and four assists before his night was cut short after playing just 22 minutes. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors’ Draymond Green gets ejected in first game back from finger injury," 11 Nov. 2019 Camille Mays has spent years working tirelessly to help victims of violence, creating the Peace Garden Project MKE and organizing events to celebrate lives cut short. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Community activist Camille Mays' son shot to death," 11 Nov. 2019 Your strategic stupidity may cost you in the short term. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "A personality quiz for fans of math and history: Are you a Newton or a Leibniz?," 10 Nov. 2019 But appreciating a forest for its long-term benefits, such as mitigating erosion and buffering temperature, can be difficult in the face of short-term pressures to grow crops for food. David Quammen, National Geographic, "‘I am scared all the time’: Chimps and people are clashing in rural Uganda," 8 Nov. 2019 Materials in the permafrost layer become a sort of short-term fossil fuel, biodegrading just enough to generate methane that’s released in the thaw and fuels these wildfires. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Extreme Weather Could Wreak Havoc on Cemeteries," 7 Nov. 2019 Ryan Miller, a 2007 guard/tackle from Columbine High, battled a broken fibula and repeated head trauma that would eventually cut short his career. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Antonio Alfano is Mel Tucker’s biggest CU Buffs win since Nebraska," 5 Nov. 2019 McGraw credited the guard for being honest with the team’s medical staff and with herself, even as her sophomore season was in danger of being cut short. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Pulmonary embolism sidelines Notre Dame guard Abby Prohaska indefinitely," 4 Nov. 2019 When Calls the Heart viewers were heartbroken that Jack and Elizabeth Thatcher's on-screen chemistry was cut short when actor Daniel Lissing abruptly left the show. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Daniel Lissing of Hallmark's 'When Calls the Heart' Is Engaged—and the Photos Are So Romantic," 2 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Founding Fathers knew that most previous democracies had been unstable and short-lived. Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, "Why It Feels Like Everything Is Going Haywire," 12 Nov. 2019 Christopher Plummer won a Tony Award for best actor in a 1973 Broadway musical directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd, but the show nonetheless was short-lived. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cyrano': Theater Review," 8 Nov. 2019 The Giants already were short on experienced relief after trading Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson and Drew Pomeranz on July 31. Henry Schulman,, "Giants reliever Tony Watson to return in 2020 after exercising contract option," 2 Nov. 2019 The international drug pipeline is short some 28,000 pounds of cocaine and about 11,000 pounds of marijuana, according to federal authorities. Doug Phillips,, "Cocaine, marijuana worth $377 million arrive at Port Everglades," 28 Oct. 2019 If Gantz also comes up short, the deadlock is likely to lead Israel to a third round of elections in less than a year. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "‘Time for action’ in Israel, after Netanyahu fails to form a government," 21 Oct. 2019 Long story short, this stackable dryer is as great a dryer as the Electrolux EFLS527UTT is a washer. USA TODAY, "The best washer and dryer sets of 2019," 18 Oct. 2019 Walsh decided to come out for the team as a freshman, when the Corsairs were short in the kicking department. Mark Perlman,, "Just Jillian: Carmel’s kicker making a name for herself one PAT at a time," 21 Sep. 2019 Without mandatory evacuations, the highways weren't crowded, and lines at gas stations were short. Anchorage Daily News, "Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictable path has officials, residents in four states unsettled," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fiacco, who was introduced to the boutique by his wife, has shopped there for swimwear, T-shirts, shorts and pants for everyday wear, and hats for vacation. John-john Williams Iv,, "This mother-daughter team honors a lost loved one with their Bel Air menswear shop," 13 Nov. 2019 Neither of those figures includes original shorts and features. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Disney+ Hits 10 Million Subscribers in 24 Hours," 13 Nov. 2019 She's appeared in the TV shows Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and Total Eclipse as well as several video shorts. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "'Dance Moms' Star Mackenzie Ziegler Is Starring In A Major New Movie," 12 Nov. 2019 All shorts are $17.99 and shipping is free on Nov. 11. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here are more than 150 Veterans Day deals for the Nov. 11 holiday," 11 Nov. 2019 With that, the pedagogue would dispatch some shivering schoolchild in vest and shorts on a three-mile cross-country run. The Economist, "Take the money and run," 9 Nov. 2019 Bye, oversized cargo pants and baggy gym shorts – Billie Eilish has moved on. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Billie Eilish Just Wore Liquid Leather Leggings and My Jaw is On the Floor," 7 Nov. 2019 Below are the 22 best workout leggings, capris, and shorts that truly passed our high standards. Leta Shy, SELF, "The 22 Best New Workout Leggings of 2019," 5 Nov. 2019 When curating your fall wardrobe, shorts and high hemlines probably aren't at the top of your list. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "4 Editor-Approved Ways to Style Tights This Fall," 5 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner sued Vivendi, Studiocanal and UMG, claiming they were shorted profits. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Docket: 'Billions' Battle Could Be Back On," 8 Nov. 2019 After retiring George Springer on a liner to short and Jose Altuve on a soft fly to right, Masahiro Tanaka walked Michael Brantley. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "How the Astros Beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the A.L.C.S.," 17 Oct. 2019 This serves as an analytical and situational observation, and Murray will benefit in both areas where Rosen was shorted. Chris Allen, Sports Illustrated, "A Case for Kyler Murray as an Elite Fantasy Quarterback in 2019," 29 May 2019 By August 18th, the SEC notes, more than $13 billion shares of Tesla were shorted. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Elon Musk sued by SEC over ‘funding secured’ tweet," 27 Sep. 2018 Multicoin shorted the virtual asset market in March, when cryptocurrency hedge funds as a whole lost 34%, according to performance-tracking firm Hedge Fund Research. Jen Wieczner, Fortune, "Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Gets VC Fred Wilson's Backing Amid Bitcoin Slump," 20 June 2018 The Seminoles took the lead for good at 17-13 when Jordan Smith handled a direct snap and turned a 4th-and-short into a 17-yard touchdown. J.c. Carnahan,, "Seminole defense derails DeLand in district opener," 14 Sep. 2019 Interest in shorting Uber stock has only grown since the I.P.O., according to share borrowing data from IHS Markit, with pessimists betting some $2 billion that the price of shares will continue to fall. Mike Isaac, New York Times, "How Uber Got Lost," 24 Aug. 2019 Wall Street is overestimating the potential price of AVXS-101, said a hedge fund manager, who asked not to be named because the fund recently began shorting the stock and doesn’t comment publicly on its bearish bets. Bailey Lipschultz,, "Biotech Stock Draws Skeptics Even as It Rallies to New Highs," 7 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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1904, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for short


Middle English, from Old English sceort; akin to Old High German scurz short, Old Norse skortr lack

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Statistics for short

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for short

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

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More Definitions for short


How to pronounce short (audio)

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



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



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



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


\ 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



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.



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



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



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

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