1

short

adjective \ ˈshȯrt \

Definition of short

1 a :having little length
b :not tall or high :low
2 a :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
3 a 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
(2) :unstressed
4 :limited in distance
  • a short trip
5 a :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
6 a :abrupt, curt
  • I'm sorry I was short with you
b :quickly provoked
  • a short temper
7 :choppy 2
8 :payable at an early date
  • a short loan
9 a :containing or cooked with shortening; also :flaky
  • short pastry
b of metal :brittle under certain conditions
10 a :not lengthy or drawn out
  • a short speech
b :made briefer :abbreviated
11 a :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

shortish

play \ˈshȯr-tish\ adjective

shortness

play \ˈshȯrt-nəs\ noun
in short order
:with dispatch :quickly

Examples of short in a Sentence

  1. One of my legs is slightly shorter than the other.

  2. He is short for his age.

  3. the shortest day of the year

  4. Life's too short to worry about the past.

  5. The movie was very short.

  6. You have done a lot in a short space of time.

  7. a short burst of speed

  8. I've only lived here for a short time.

  9. She has made great progress in a few short years.

  10. He visited for two short weeks.

Recent Examples of short from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of short

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


2

short

adverb

Definition of short

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

Examples of short in a Sentence

  1. He threw the ball short.

  2. the bicyclist ahead of me unexpectedly pulled up short and I unavoidably plowed into him

Recent Examples of short from the Web

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.

First Known Use of short

14th century


3

short

noun

Definition of short

1 :the sum and substance :upshot
2 a :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
4 a :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
5 a :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

Examples of short in a Sentence

  1. The short before the main movie was very funny.

Recent Examples of short from the Web

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.

First Known Use of short

circa 1586


4

short

verb

Definition of short

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

Examples of short in a Sentence

  1. The lightning shorted the TV.

  2. The hair dryer must have shorted.

First Known Use of short

1904


SHORT Defined for English Language Learners

short

adjective

Definition of short for English Language Learners

  • : 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


short

adverb

Definition of short for English Language Learners

  • : 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


short

noun

Definition of short for English Language Learners

  • shorts : pants that end at or above the knees

  • : a short movie

  • : a small amount of liquor that you drink quickly


short

verb

Definition of short for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (something) to have a short circuit

  • : to stop working because of a short circuit


SHORT Defined for Kids

1

short

adjective \ ˈshȯrt \

Definition of short for Students

shorter; shortest
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\

shortness

noun

Headscratcher for short

What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? Short!


2

short

adverb

Definition of short for Students

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.

3

short

noun

Definition of short for Students

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

Law Dictionary

1

short

adjective

legal Definition of short

1 :treated or disposed of quickly in court
  • the calendar for short causes
2 :having a short term
  • short loans
  • short leases
3 a :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

2

short

adverb

legal Definition of short

:by or as if by a short sale
  • sold the stock short


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