short·​ly | \ ˈshȯrt-lē How to pronounce shortly (audio) \

Definition of shortly

1a : in a few words : briefly
b : in an abrupt manner
2a : in a short time we will be there shortly
b : at a short interval shortly after sunset

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Examples of shortly in a Sentence

He left shortly after you did. “I can't help you right now,” he said shortly.
Recent Examples on the Web In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a US Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon., "Today in History," 4 Apr. 2021 Amtrak’s priorities include a new tunnel linking New Jersey and New York City, and replacing a tunnel under Baltimore that was built shortly after the Civil War. Ted Mann, WSJ, "Amtrak Wants Rail Travel to Be a Better Alternative to Short Flights, Long Drives," 4 Apr. 2021 Surveillance video showed Botello leaving a Dallas nightclub shortly after midnight on Oct. 5 with 31-year-old Charles Beltran, who was arrested Friday in Utah. Paul Best, Fox News, "More suspects arrested for murdering Dallas woman on vacation, police say," 4 Apr. 2021 The possibility began floating in the back of Kiana Williams’ mind in 2018, shortly after the end of her freshman season at Stanford. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, "Stanford's Kiana Williams chasing national championship dream in San Antonio homecoming," 3 Apr. 2021 Police responded to reports of gunfire in the Little Village neighborhood shortly after 2:30 a.m. Monday. Washington Post, "As video of Chicago police fatally shooting a 13-year-old is set for release, his mother still wonders what happened," 3 Apr. 2021 The jury also heard Chauvin's call to his supervisor shortly after kneeling on Floyd to explain his version of events. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "A week of compelling and potentially devastating testimony at Derek Chauvin's murder trial," 3 Apr. 2021 Pittman assumed command shortly after the Jan. 6 riots when then-Capitol police chief Steven Sund resigned, along with the chief law enforcement officers of the House and Senate. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Death of Officer William Evans in new attack is another hit for staggered Capitol Police," 3 Apr. 2021 Dublin native Igiehon, nicknamed the Irish Hulk, entered the transfer portal shortly after the season's end. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, "Former Louisville basketball player Aidan Igiehon transferring to Grand Canyon," 3 Apr. 2021

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for shortly

Time Traveler

The first known use of shortly was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shortly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for shortly



English Language Learners Definition of shortly

: in or within a short time
: in a very brief and unfriendly way


short·​ly | \ ˈshȯrt-lē How to pronounce shortly (audio) \

Kids Definition of shortly

1 : in or within a short time : soon They should arrive shortly.
2 : in a brief way that shows anger or disapproval She spoke shortly.

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