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 school quickly became shorthand for all the woes that plague the District’s education system. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "‘The sky’s the limit now’: A graduation, and a statement about a troubled school," 12 June 2018 Her attention-grabbing moniker (which co-opts a slang term for tall, thick women) has inspired social media users to add thee to their names (or to other people’s names) as shorthand for superlative greatness. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, "Megan Thee Stallion and the power of rapping for her pleasure," 30 July 2019 Emojis are most effective as emotional shorthand, helping to signal tone in digital communications, where tone is so easily misread. Michele Moses, The New Yorker, "A Bot That Captures the Ambivalence of Human Emotion," 4 Sep. 2019 On Tuesday, the chain debuted New Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and added the ever-popular PSL (shorthand for Pumpkin Spice Latte) to menus. Doreen Christensen,, "BOGO deal at Starbucks on Thursday," 28 Aug. 2019 To keep up with the speed of human speech, reporters write in their own shorthand, combining different keys to produce words and phrases. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Baby powder, computer fans and flying fingers: Welcome to the Olympics of court reporting," 15 Aug. 2019 However, the hashtag #反送中 (a rough shorthand for the anti-extradition protests) returned a collection of posts, which have garnered about 87,000 views collectively. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "TikTok’s parent company appears to be censoring the Hong Kong protests," 14 Aug. 2019 Yet centrist contenders twice used it as a shorthand in seeking to distance themselves from the more left-leaning agendas of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Ben Zimmer, The Atlantic, "How ‘People Who Shower After Work’ Became a Political Talking Point," 31 July 2019 Charles and David turned the family name into a kind of shorthand for wealthy conservatives whose money has reshaped the cultural landscape. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "This is the Koch Brothers empire," 23 Aug. 2019

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

10 Oct 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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