Meaning of SHORT in English

I. ˈshȯrt adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceort; akin to Old High German scurz short, Old Norse skortr lack

Date: before 12th century


a. : having little length

b. : not tall or high : low


a. : not extended in time : brief

a short vacation

b. : not retentive

a short memory

c. : expeditious , quick

made short work of the problem

d. : seeming to pass quickly

made great progress in just a few short years


a. of a speech sound : having a relatively short duration

b. : being the member of a pair of similarly spelled vowel or vowel-containing sounds that is descended from a vowel that was short in duration but is no longer so and that does not necessarily have duration as its chief distinguishing feature

short i in sin

c. of a syllable in prosody

(1) : of relatively brief duration

(2) : unstressed

4. : limited in distance

a short trip


a. : not coming up to a measure or requirement : insufficient

in short supply

b. : not reaching far enough

the throw to first was short

c. : enduring privation

d. : insufficiently supplied

short of cash

short on brains


a. : abrupt , curt

I'm sorry I was short with you

b. : quickly provoked

a short temper

7. : choppy 2

8. : payable at an early date

a short loan


a. : containing or cooked with shortening ; also : flaky

short pastry

b. of metal : brittle under certain conditions


a. : not lengthy or drawn out

a short speech

b. : made briefer : abbreviated


a. : not having goods or property that one has sold in anticipation of a fall in prices

b. : consisting of, relating to, or engaging in the sale of securities or commodities that the seller does not possess or has not contracted for at the time of the sale

short sale

a short seller

12. : near the end of a tour of duty

• short·ish ˈshȯr-tish adjective

• short·ness ˈshȯrt-nəs noun

- in short order

II. adverb

Date: 14th century

1. : in a curt manner

2. : for or during a brief time

short- lasting

3. : at a disadvantage : unawares

caught short

4. : in an abrupt manner : suddenly

the car stopped short

5. : at some point or degree before a goal or limit aimed at or under consideration

the bombs fell short

quit a month short of graduation

6. : clean across

the axle was snapped short

7. : by or as if by a short sale

III. noun

Date: circa 1586

1. : the sum and substance : upshot


a. : a short syllable

b. : a short sound or signal

3. plural

a. : a by-product of wheat milling that includes the germ, fine bran, and some flour

b. : refuse, clippings, or trimmings discarded in various manufacturing processes


a. : knee-length or less than knee-length trousers — usually used in plural

b. plural : short drawers

c. : a size in clothing for short men


a. : one who operates on the short side of the market

b. plural : short-term bonds

6. plural : deficiencies

7. : short circuit

8. : shortstop


a. : short subject

b. : a brief story or article (as in a newspaper)

- for short

- in short

IV. transitive verb

Date: 1904

1. : short-circuit

2. : shortchange , cheat

3. : to sell (a security) short in expectation of a fall in prices

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.