short·​ly | \ˈshȯrt-lē \

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

Former senator Elizabeth Dole founded Hidden Heroes in 2011, shortly after her husband, former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, spent eleven months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington, D.C. Lydia Woolever, Popular Mechanics, "How Families Are Taking Care of Wounded Veterans," 28 Nov. 2018 The two tragically lost their baby girl, Oakleigh Klover, shortly following her birth in early June. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Walker Hayes Attends His First Award Show After His Daughter's Tragic Death," 15 Nov. 2018 His urgent message came shortly after President Trump approved an emergency declaration in the state, extending federal resources to Florida in anticipation of the impending hurricane. Fox News, "Hurricane Michael, Category 3, getting 'better organized' as it approaches Florida's Gulf Coast, officials say," 9 Oct. 2018 Some service at Penn Station resumed shortly before 8 p.m., but there were still some cancellations and delays. Paul Berger, WSJ, "NJ Transit Train Derails, Stalling Many at Penn Station," 4 Oct. 2018 Tarek was diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly after Flip or Flop premiered in 2013. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know On How Flip Or Flop Came To Be, According To Tarek El Moussa," 24 Aug. 2018 Trading in the company’s shares was halted for 92 minutes Tuesday afternoon – an eternity in stock-market terms – before resuming shortly before the market closed. Drew Harwell, The Seattle Times, "Musk’s tweet on pushing Tesla to go private shocks investors," 7 Aug. 2018 Russian officials have been coy about how the leak was caused, even (falsely) intimating shortly after the leak's discovery that a NASA astronaut may have drilled the hole while in space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA concerned about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX," 20 Nov. 2018 Amber is asked by the royal family to shut down her popular blog, much like Markle had to close her lifestyle website, The Tig, shortly after getting engaged to Prince Harry. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Is Basically Meghan Markle’s Life," 15 Nov. 2018

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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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of shortly

: in or within a short time

: in a very brief and unfriendly way


short·​ly | \ˈshȯrt-lē \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on shortly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shortly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shortly

Spanish Central: Translation of shortly

Nglish: Translation of shortly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shortly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shortly

What made you want to look up shortly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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