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 If similar sales in the past have taught us anything, there’s a very good chance this deal will sell out shortly. Maren Estrada, BGR, "Get a 2K camera drone that folds up as small as a smartphone for $65 at Amazon," 10 May 2021 The former couple, who parted ways 17 years ago, was spotted together in Montana in recent days, shortly after he was seen at her L.A.-area home at the end of April. Los Angeles Times, "Yes, exes Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been hanging out — but no need to panic," 10 May 2021 Birmingham police notified Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies shortly after 3 p.m. that a shooting happened at 311 Valley Road, said Sgt. Carol Robinson |, al, "Man killed in Fairfield shooting ID’d; suspect vehicle sought," 10 May 2021 Police said they were called shortly after 2 a.m. to the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE for a report of an unconscious person. Washington Post, "Woman found fatally stabbed inside apartment building in Anacostia," 10 May 2021 Colorado Springs police responded to reports of shots fired shortly after midnight Sunday at the Canterbury Mobile Home Park and found six people dead. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Not what we expected on Mother's Day': Police seek motive after gunman kills 6, then self, at Colorado birthday party," 10 May 2021 The festival, which drew some 12,000 daily spectators each Labor Day weekend since 1952, was paused shortly befor the pandemic hit due to reported organizational issues. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: April 29-May 5, 2021," 9 May 2021 The government fell shortly afterward, and the plans were shelved. Julia Buckley, CNN, "The truth about cruise ships in Venice," 8 May 2021 Hur said Hogan, a Republican, contacted him shortly after the deadly shooting reported in March in Atlanta, where a suspect killed eight people and wounded another during a gun spree at three massage parlors. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "Maryland leading the nation with first-of-its-kind anti-Asian discrimination group amid surge in attacks," 8 May 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shortly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 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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