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

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Other Words from shorthand

shorthand adjective

Examples of shorthand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The system has become a shorthand for anxieties over what other potential incidents may infuriate China. Los Angeles Times, "From a crab shack to Hyundai, China’s wrath over a U.S. missile defense system weighs on South Korea," 19 Nov. 2020 Using disability or disfigurement as shorthand for evil goes back centuries in Western culture, said Angela Smith, director of disability studies at the University of Utah. Cara Buckley, New York Times, "Scary Is How You Act, Not Look, Disability Advocates Tell Filmmakers," 17 Nov. 2020 The new logo prominently features the MTM shorthand for the company: Mazda Toyota Manufacturing. Paul Gattis |, al, "Mazda Toyota unveils logo, updates construction progress," 27 Oct. 2020 Since her initial campaign against Joe Crowley in 2018, the congresswoman has become fondly known as AOC — a popular shorthand often used by her supporters, similar to how people referred to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as RBG. Elly Belle,, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sets The Record Straight On Who Can Call Her AOC," 25 Oct. 2020 Section 230 is shorthand for the part of US law that gives tech companies immunity for almost all of their decisions regarding content moderation. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "Ad attacking Mark Zuckerberg to air during VP debate," 7 Oct. 2020 Try this for shorthand: Biden could try to crack down on the techniques that people like Trump use to escape taxes on both themselves and their heirs. Ben Steverman,, "Trump’s Taxes Give Biden Blueprint to Fix System Rigged for Rich," 1 Oct. 2020 People use political parties as a shorthand for left and right. Arkansas Online, "Upside down," 24 Oct. 2020 The advice espoused in The Prince led his name to become shorthand for cunning, manipulation, and self-serving behavior—one of the few eponymous adjectives to strongly convey an abstract idea. National Geographic, "Machiavelli exposed the brutal truth about politics in a 'tell-all' treatise," 22 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shorthand

Time Traveler

The first known use of shorthand was in 1636

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Statistics for shorthand

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shorthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for shorthand


How to pronounce shorthand (audio)

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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