short·​hand | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌhand \

Definition of shorthand

1 : a method of writing rapidly by substituting characters, abbreviations, or symbols for letters, sounds, words, or phrases : stenography
2 : something likened to shorthand especially in providing rapid or abbreviated communication or representation stereotype and cliché serve a purpose as a form of shorthand— Stephanie Ericsson headline shorthand

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Other Words from shorthand

shorthand adjective

Examples of shorthand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Adopting this shorthand ensures peak efficiency and organization a.k.a. a prettier, more productive BuJo. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "What Is a Bullet Journal? Everything You Need to Know Before You BuJo," 30 Jan. 2019 There’s no shorthand for pickleball (my favorite origin story says it was named for co-inventor Joel Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles). Dan Morrell,, "A closer look at the sport that’s taken retirement communities by storm," 7 June 2018 There’s a general shorthand for comedians about what the whitest band is and Wilco is often used as that. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "Jeff Tweedy on Building a Lasting Career While Avoiding the Nostalgia-Act Trap," 6 Nov. 2018 Census data show that in our rapidly growing state, the size of the white working-class population — that’s demographic shorthand for white adults without a four-year college degree — has barely budged since the start of this decade. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "Washington state’s white working class shrinks in share of population — a national trend," 16 Oct. 2018 The brilliant calligraphic shorthand of his single line portraits—the pencil rarely leaves the page!—captures a new conception of female beauty that his three black models inspired. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘Posing Modernity: The Black Model From Manet and Matisse to Today’ Review: A Groundbreaking Look," 3 Dec. 2018 The games are shorthand for one’s movements and choices in life, and the character of the player. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Notes from the Underground: With a New Book Out, Bernadette Van-Huy Tracks Her Evolution from Bernadette Corporation to Now," 5 Nov. 2018 Such single-minded dressing is generally a strategic choice that creates a shorthand, rendering a person immediately identifiable. New York Times, "How Gareth Southgate Made the Waistcoat a Surprise World Cup M.V.P.," 13 July 2018 Kainaz Amaria/Vox The shorthand for all this — ambition — is a celebrated trait in men. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Are Democrats brave enough to run a woman against Donald Trump?," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shorthand.' 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 shorthand

1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for shorthand

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for shorthand

The first known use of shorthand was in 1636

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More Definitions for shorthand



English Language Learners Definition of shorthand

: a method of writing quickly by using symbols or abbreviations for sounds, words, or phrases
: a short or quick way of showing or saying something

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More from Merriam-Webster on shorthand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shorthand

Spanish Central: Translation of shorthand

Nglish: Translation of shorthand for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about shorthand

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