short·​hand | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌhand How to pronounce shorthand (audio) \

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

Other Words from shorthand

shorthand adjective

Examples of shorthand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In reality, zero trust is shorthand for the concept that trust should not be bestowed based on relative location inside or outside a network’s perimeter. Jim Richberg, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 The term is shorthand for a company's carbon emissions that are the result of activities by entities that aren't directly owned or controlled by that business. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 13 Dec. 2021 The headscarf became a visual shorthand for political Islam and remains so to this day. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 Manolo Blahnik's name is basically shorthand for luxury women's footwear. Shelby Ying Hyde, Harper's BAZAAR, 18 Nov. 2021 There's a shorthand, and to know one another that deeply to be both friends and siblings is so great. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2021 The Farnsworth House immediately became shorthand for the anodyne excesses of high Modernism, yet even its critics couldn’t deny the profound impact of its openness, its transparency and its crystalline minimalism, chilly and dazzling as ice. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2021 As prominent figures began telling their truths, social media campaigns like #StopAAPIHate, with its shorthand for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, emerged. New York Times, 5 Oct. 2021 There is a lot about her rich history with the show that makes returning an enjoyable experience for Rudolph, but perhaps nothing is more important than her shorthand with hair department head Jodi Mancuso. Danielle Turchiano, Variety, 17 Aug. 2021

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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The first known use of shorthand was in 1636

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shorthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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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 : stenography
: a short or quick way of showing or saying something


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