Definition of short in English:



  • 1Measuring a small distance from end to end.

    ‘short dark hair’
    ‘a short flight of steps’
    ‘the bed was too short for him’
    • ‘The fencers would stand in an almost upright position with a short stance and the knees only slightly bent.’
    • ‘He had short dark hair, a small thin moustache and brown eyes.’
    • ‘He peered down the short hall which was off the kitchen and nodded to himself when he saw the familiar set up.’
    • ‘Josh picked up his pace and jogged across the park and short expanse of field to the metal dugouts.’
    • ‘This suggests that the sclerite wall curved into the cavity, forming a short canal or tube.’
    • ‘The suspect is a white man, 6ft tall, with stubble, short dark hair, and crooked white teeth.’
    • ‘The offender is described as a white man, 5ft 10 in tall, with short dark hair and of medium build.’
    • ‘The distance over which a boat crew has line of sight is surprisingly short.’
    • ‘Tree shape is determined by the relative positions of long and short branches.’
    • ‘There is a makeshift parking area at the top of a short path leading to the water.’
    • ‘There are plenty of short runs for beginners close to the nursery area.’
    • ‘The short steep waves for which the Baltic is renowned build quickly and we soon agree that it's too rough to dive.’
    • ‘Jon held up a short, sturdy club, and Brianna quickly untangled a net and dagger.’
    • ‘He had earlier used seven of his own clubs in a vain attempt to keep the ball on the short grass.’
    • ‘Bertha ran downstairs as quickly as her short legs would carry her, a mix of fear and intense fury flooding her veins.’
    • ‘As she was about to turn away from the window Joanna heard voices coming from the park at the end of the short street.’
    • ‘Danielle shook her head in confusion, walking quickly down the short hallway to her room.’
    • ‘Believe me, the game is a lot easier when your tee shots consistently find the short grass.’
    • ‘The towering man with short white hair walked quickly down the sidewalk as he spoke.’
    • ‘She pulled her hair out of the back of the sweater, running a brush quickly through her short locks.’
    small, little, tiny, minuscule
    low, squat, stubby, miniature, dwarf
    direct, straight
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    1. 1.1 (of a journey) covering a small distance.
      ‘the hotel is a short walk from the sea’
      • ‘Entry into the rear is not too difficult either and there is room enough for adults - if only on short journeys.’
      • ‘Then it was time for a short walk over to the Arc de Triomphe without my camera and then back to the room for another nap!’
      • ‘They had managed to brave the strong winds and to make the short journey down Main Street on foot.’
      • ‘Hannah had been with friends at pubs in Bevois Valley before she was abducted on the short walk home on Friday, March 14.’
      • ‘From the Roemer it's only a short walk to the banks of the Main River.’
      • ‘And the River Aire, just a short walk from his Carleton home, flowed through his life as a constant companion.’
      • ‘There are many options to choose from including many only a short walk or ride from the gaming tables.’
      • ‘Mrs Gallagher was punched and robbed in a daytime attack just a short walk from her home at a sheltered housing complex in Undercliffe.’
      • ‘They make the short journey to Ossett Town and a meeting with their former manager Steve Richards.’
      • ‘A short walk, which was perfumed by wood-smoke, led us to a small clearing where the charcoal burner was situated.’
      • ‘For as much as I enjoyed my short walk along the river day before yesterday, I really paid for it.’
      • ‘Cortez made the short walk to the feverish scrum in McBride's corner and raised the Irishman's right arm in victory.’
      • ‘Another night, on the short walk home, he became disoriented and lost, and eventually found himself in an endless tunnel.’
      • ‘I thought I will have a short walk with the dog and go to the chemist before settling down for the rest of the day at home as I had not spent any time with the sickie.’
      • ‘WE ARE SITTING in a restaurant a short walk from the bookstore and I have just read him the extract above.’
      • ‘This is not a problem on short journeys but on a long haul it can literally become a pain in the neck.’
      • ‘With the kids packed off to relatives, I took the short journey down the road to the Battle Hospital.’
      • ‘Now hardly anybody works on Saturday mornings and cars and buses are freely available to make the short journey to Ibrox or Parkhead.’
      • ‘I was put up at a villa that stood on stilts in the sea and which required a short journey by boat to reach from the main resort itself.’
      • ‘It's such a short journey to Germany that the tournament could almost feel like a home event to the Czechs.’
    2. 1.2 (of a garment or sleeves on a garment) only covering the top part of a person's arms or legs.
      ‘a short skirt’
      • ‘Most college girls know they do not have nice legs and keep away from short skirts.’
      • ‘She was never associated with skimpy bathing suits, low cut gowns and short dresses.’
      • ‘Seiron wore black dress pants, a white shirt with short sleeves and both wore black boots to match.’
      • ‘At the prescription counter, there was a pregnant lady in front of me, in a short dress.’
      • ‘She wore the short skirts and skimpy clothing that people like that would wear.’
      • ‘In all but the coldest months, she went about in sleeveless blouses and short skirts.’
      • ‘The little man with the gloves and short sleeves had no sooner orchestrated something at one end than he was thwarting his opponents at the other.’
      • ‘The man is described as 25, white, wearing a white polo shirt with short sleeves and navy shorts down to his knees.’
      • ‘His shirt had short sleeves, exposing pale, wiry arms, but he showed no sign of being cold.’
      • ‘Women attending university are told at the gate that their skirts are too short, or asked why they are wearing jeans.’
      • ‘Knee-length skirts and slightly shorter ones were also combined with short coats.’
      • ‘When I wore my shirt with its short sleeves you could see the scars on my wrist.’
      • ‘It's about short skirts, pretty ponytails and staying feminine, if you please.’
      • ‘She wore a flimsy white cotton dress with short sleeves, a pink sash about the waist, and a skirt that blew in the wind.’
      • ‘Wrapping her arms about her, Jenni cursed her choice of a skirt and short sleeves.’
      • ‘Lollipop ladies were warned yesterday that they must not wear short skirts and high heels while on duty.’
      • ‘Only now they were incongruously dressed in sheepskin jackets and short skirts.’
      • ‘Sleeveless tops and short skirts make it impossible to hide from the prying eyes of children.’
      • ‘As the passengers disembarked Toad noticed a hot young woman in a short skirt and leather jacket.’
      • ‘Next on the ramp, was a model wearing a short skirt and top, all woven in silk.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person) small in height.
      ‘he is short and tubby’
      • ‘She's short and petite, with dimples in her smile and her hair in small little buns.’
      • ‘One was a short man with bushy eyebrows, another looked like a corpse and, oddly, the third was a man in fishnets.’
      • ‘You can imagine my utter disbelief then, when the cab turned up and turned out to be driven by a grey-haired, short man of about fifty years of age.’
      • ‘Now he's the short bloke with a few million in the bank, a shelf full of Baftas and Golden Globes, and a reputation as a comic genius.’
      • ‘I am tired of short people who can't see over the steering wheel driving large cars.’
      • ‘He is short, bespectacled, narrow-shouldered, a big talent in a Woody Allen-esque package.’
      • ‘The artistic director Wolfgang Langhoff once sat at this desk, a short man.’
      • ‘You have to imagine a tiny, thin, short fellow with a white beard and bald head.’
      • ‘Like his brother Larry, Michael was also short and skinny when he was young.’
      • ‘I wanted to join the police when I was younger but I was too short.’
      • ‘After all, if the desk is higher, a short person can always get a booster seat.’
      • ‘He is cute, tall (remember the run of short guys) and witty so we will see how that goes.’
      • ‘I stand behind a short woman who was behind a tall woman and husband.’
      • ‘So yesterday, before going out to Popstarz with Gideon, Nick and Davo, I sent Davo a link to an article about short men.’
      • ‘You were very tall - looming at least a chest and head above me, and I'm not short.’
      • ‘She is short and petite in frame - a trait she inherited from her Japanese mother.’
      • ‘Usually, the person at the helm gaffs the trap, but I'm rather short so I decide to just steer.’
      • ‘We will recruit thousands more police, especially among ethnic minorities and short people.’
      • ‘My mother was quite short in stature, she had been an orphan, and my cousin Vera considered her very beautiful.’
      • ‘He was short and stocky, maybe ten years older than Jeremy, with a brown brush-cut.’
      small, little, petite, tiny, squat, stocky, dumpy, stubby, elfin, dwarfish, diminutive, lilliputian
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    4. 1.4 (of a ball in cricket, a shot in tennis, etc.) travelling only a small distance before bouncing.
      ‘he uses his opportunities to attack every short ball’
      • ‘Two of them came in Kirby's first over and both were dispatched to the boundary, along with a short ball which was pulled to the fence.’
      • ‘Bevan was said to have a weakness against the short ball and was restricted to playing limited overs cricket.’
      • ‘Net-cords don't count, neither do drop shots, nor do approaches to finish short lobs.’
      • ‘I was putting away the short ball, hitting the forehands well and not missing anything on the backhand.’
      • ‘Bangladesh also showed that they have learned in other areas, notably how to play the short ball.’
    5. 1.5Cricket Denoting fielding positions relatively close to the batsman.
      ‘short midwicket’
      • ‘However, McIntyre quickly took revenge to have the batsman caught at short mid-wicket by Love.’
      • ‘Prince was put down twice, by Lara at slip and Marshall at short mid-wicket early on.’
      • ‘The big-hitting Justin Kemp ran himself out on 18 as Boje did some fine fielding from short cover.’
      • ‘I was fielding at short leg and had the best seat in the house.’
      • ‘Blowers's theoretical confusion at which Dwayne might be fielding at short leg is entirely understandable.’
  • 2Lasting or taking a small amount of time.

    ‘visiting London for a short break’
    ‘a short conversation’
    • ‘The evening closed with a short entertainment of music and poetry provided by members.’
    • ‘His career was as short as it was spectacular and he later emigrated to Australia where he pursued a career as schoolmaster and journalist.’
    • ‘He recently resigned as manager of The Neale after a short stint in that position.’
    • ‘In 1975 they got together a small group and went over to the UK to work the Irish music venues on a short tour.’
    • ‘He earned a stay of execution with a 65 in frame 30 but it was only a short reprieve before Stevens closed out the match in the next.’
    • ‘The child was born while Banks was in prison, and the connection between them was only through very short visits, said the judge.’
    • ‘Route planners have worked hard to keep roads open but say some will have to be closed for a short period to ensure the safety of the competitors.’
    • ‘After a short conversation he left but the residents believe someone tampered with a back window while he was there.’
    • ‘Stalwart cricketer and former president of Glusburn cricket club has died aged 80, after a short illness.’
    • ‘Traditionally Pergia weddings are short and the crowd clears out quickly afterwards.’
    • ‘A short visit to my son's new home shows how deeply such thinking confuses cause and effect.’
    • ‘She had felt as though Luca were getting closer and closer until a short while ago.’
    • ‘Michael Holding has created a niche for himself in a short period of time.’
    • ‘Mourinho's father Felix picked up the receiver and spoke quietly during a short conversation.’
    • ‘She was suspicious and, after a short conversation, told the man to leave.’
    • ‘Days were very short and the Arabian night falls quickly across the waters of the Gulf.’
    • ‘We'll continue our conversation with both of these senators after a short break.’
    • ‘The ship was closed for a short period while it was shifted to a new location opposite the Gateway of India.’
    • ‘However, others argue that even a short visit to Varna can refute pessimistic appraisals of the situation.’
    • ‘Although his cricket career was short, the stories that grew up around him were tall.’
    brief, momentary, temporary, short-lived, impermanent, short-term, cursory, fleeting, passing, fugitive, flying, lightning, transitory, transient, ephemeral, evanescent, fading, quick, meteoric
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    1. 2.1attributive Seeming to last less time than is the case; passing quickly.
      ‘in 10 short years all this changed’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself, because I knew that that had been me just a few short years earlier.’
      • ‘Now you have only a few short weeks to get lean and gorgeous for the camera.’
      • ‘For a short afternoon back in early January Harry Redknapp was reminded of life at the top.’
      • ‘A few short hours earlier, something like a miracle obviously had occurred.’
      • ‘I noticed how much has changed over these 10 short years, cinema prices, for instance.’
      • ‘As a disclaimer, I am a Christian of over slightly more than one short year and am no expert.’
      • ‘The cake was a replica of the old school where Catherine taught for all those years and which closed only a few short months ago.’
      • ‘That would have been seen, in our view, as a betrayal of the promise we gave people at the election only a few short weeks earlier.’
      • ‘Four short years is not enough to turn around the social deficit that National created.’
      • ‘In just a few short minutes she would be getting her first assignment.’
      • ‘But a few short years later, into your second or third job, you take a car loan.’
      • ‘The book only covered a short ten years of my life and stopped when I was eighteen.’
      • ‘In a few short minutes the two warriors were fleeing the capitol city of Elon.’
      • ‘Using these skills Milka has advanced to this world-class level in an amazingly short five years.’
      • ‘Rodeo cowboys drive for hours, even days, to ride for eight short seconds and then drive home.’
      • ‘I have seen far too many people give up too quickly on their programs after a few short weeks.’
      • ‘Two short years was enough to take me from imagining what it must be like to be that person, to actually being that person!’
    2. 2.2 (of a person's memory) retaining things for only a small amount of time.
      ‘he has a short memory for past misdeeds’
      • ‘Memories are short and unless the media or Opposition pick up on it, the government's failure will go largely unnoticed.’
      • ‘Domestic issues are dominating in the hope the electorate have short memories and limited concentration.’
      • ‘The deputy either has a very short memory or is suffering from political amnesia.’
      • ‘The first lesson of politics is that many memories are short - but, fortunately, not yet too many.’
      • ‘He tells us we all have short memories and that traffic is no worse.’
      • ‘The mandarins of the Ministry of Defence have hard necks and short memories.’
      • ‘Yet those who might write off the Commonwealth and European medallist have short memories.’
      • ‘But in Ireland coalition crises come and go, and the electorate proves to have a short memory.’
      • ‘You look back at the last two or three years, you have a short memory, so you think it will always be thus.’
      • ‘It is not just the public but also the commentators' memories that are short.’
      • ‘I always think that folk who say they prefer winter to summer are either lying or have short memories.’
      • ‘Those who have damned Woods's second consecutive Masters win as dull have short memory spans.’
      • ‘Only those who are blessed with short memories can believe that the history of ideas is a tale of progress.’
      • ‘A few beers and a short memory can drive away the day's problems, so the thinking goes.’
      • ‘Rushing to one side of the proscenium arch, rebounding and running back to the other, they are like a shoal of fish with short memories.’
      • ‘People have short memories and will not associate the newly named hotel with the disaster.’
      • ‘The trouble with Mr Saunders is that he has a very short and selective memory.’
      • ‘Some people might have very short memories but there are others on this side of the House who have very long memories.’
      • ‘Investors, institutional and retail, have famously short memories.’
      • ‘People in this part of the world have short memories and one perceived bad move could ruin years of hard work.’
    3. 2.3Stock Market (of stocks or other securities or commodities) sold in advance of being acquired, with reliance on the price falling so that a profit can be made.
      • ‘Speculators have no firm commitment to the long or the short side of the market.’
      • ‘The effect was to throw prices and expectations into chaos when stocks were short.’
    4. 2.4Stock Market (of a broker, position in the market, etc.) buying or based on short stocks or other securities or commodities.
      • ‘If a short squeeze occurs and enough short sellers buy back the stock, the price could go even higher.’
      • ‘Shorters or short sellers are traders who sell shares that they don't already own.’
      • ‘Take short positions with caution until the market reverts back to bull confirmed.’
      • ‘In other words, you need two long call options to hedge one short futures contract.’
      • ‘Unlike other investors, he can establish either long or short positions in securities.’
    5. 2.5 Denoting or having a relatively early date for the maturing of a bill of exchange.
      • ‘It is unusual because of the falling interest rate environment during most of the period, at least for short bonds, followed by a leveling off and slight rise in the last few months.’
  • 3Relatively small in extent.

    ‘a short speech’
    ‘he wrote a short book’
    • ‘He has sold short fiction in a range of genres from horror to romantic comedy, and back again.’
    • ‘The short essay then quickly moves on to a concern about how we should read Nietzsche's texts.’
    • ‘Have each guest give you a pic of herself with the birthday girl along with a short note of funny memories.’
    • ‘She quickly ran downstairs to her desk and wrote a short reply, before running back upstairs.’
    • ‘I'm apologising in advance for the very short chapter, I'll put another one up soon.’
    • ‘Plan to write a relatively short novel; you are producing one book, not a library.’
    • ‘Most of the applications were short and boring, but Jim's eyes instantly settled on the longest one.’
    • ‘The second note had been shorter than the first, so short that Asim had quickly memorized it.’
    • ‘To create an in vivo code, highlight the word or short passage that strikes you as significant and from which you want to create a node.’
    • ‘Quickly he scribbled a short note, tore off the page and then tossed the two items back down.’
    • ‘One of the key issues to be considered in this short introduction is the extent to which this is true.’
    • ‘The third book is longer than the first two, but is relatively short.’
    • ‘He wants leave to file a short affidavit explaining his position, so he did that, did he, Mr Hough?’
    • ‘The intent of this short book is for it to be used as a simple and direct guide in a time of great danger.’
    • ‘Their articles are researched, well written and blissfully short.’
    • ‘Often Roth and his cohorts exchange short essays instead of speaking to one another.’
    • ‘The only problem I have with the novels is that they're so short!’
    • ‘I shall simply make a short summary of the position and annexe his judgment to my own.’
    • ‘Here, with a short artist's biography, is the concert programme listed in full.’
    • ‘This relatively short opinion questionnaire gives a pretty accurate account of where you really stand.’
    concise, brief, succinct, to the point, compact, terse, curt, summary, economical, crisp, short and sweet, pithy, epigrammatic, laconic, pointed, thumbnail, abridged, abbreviated, condensed, synoptic, compendious, summarized, contracted, curtailed, truncated
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    1. 3.1short of/on Not having enough of (something); lacking or deficient in.
      ‘they were very short of provisions’
      ‘I know you're short on cash’
      • ‘Armed with a booming drive, he is not short on confidence, and it is more than his golf that will help him to stand out.’
      • ‘They were short on information, but all said Deane had resigned from the OPP.’
      • ‘Reading a book of plays is another great way to get some reading in when you're short on time.’
      • ‘True, the braised fennel was a bit crunchy and the leek and bacon risotto with which it was stuffed was a bit short on leek and bacon, but it was pretty nice.’
      • ‘The book is somewhat short on hard evidence, yet Davies says he has no doubt about the truth of the revelations.’
      • ‘If you're short on time and desperately in need of a one-stop option for all of your green needs, you're in luck.’
      • ‘What the South African world number four will be short on is the level of confidence achieved only through winning.’
      • ‘Was it a ruse to allow reporters short on subject matter to fill the pages dedicated to the European Championship?’
      • ‘Mulberry was a little short on heritage; worse still, it was bereft of excitement.’
      • ‘They may be strong on physical prowess, but a little short on the professional side.’
      • ‘Is this someone's way of telling us we're short on our annual allotment of carrots?’
      • ‘However, whatever the visitors were lacking they will never be short on pride and spirit.’
      • ‘We have not gotten off that, which is why we're short on equipment and personnel and training.’
      • ‘The students are long on facts and short on the reflection and analysis that comes with experience.’
      • ‘Two of the main ingredients in this are sugar and refined flour, both of which are seriously short on nutrients.’
      • ‘Newer outfits can also face potential conflicts of interest, or at least be short on quality.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister's speech was short on any vision that addressed those matters.’
      • ‘With the retirement of Istabraq we are short on stars but this lady could soon be a darling with racegoers everywhere.’
      • ‘Coming off four heavy defeats on the bounce, his charges looked lamentably short on confidence.’
      • ‘It was the same Government which made a plea to the Supreme Court that the scheme could not be run as they were short on money!’
      deficient in, lacking, lacking in, wanting, wanting in, in need of, low on, short on, missing, with an insufficiency of, with too few …, with too little …
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    2. 3.2predicative In insufficient supply.
      ‘food is short’
      • ‘Pigs are the one bright spot on the horizon but supplies are short.’
      • ‘The matriarch shrugged her shoulders and said that supplies were short.’
      • ‘The short supply of tomatoes means prices are higher, too, which means there's less demand.’
      • ‘Six days after Tropical Storm Jeanne hit the island, water and food supplies are short.’
      • ‘It worked out - money was short, but just enough to keep the apartment and pay the bills.’
      • ‘Work out arrangements in advance with other farmers to help you out when your supplies are short.’
      • ‘Animals like this only come into the open when the natural food supply is short.’
      • ‘They reward bravery and commitment - something never short with Simon.’
      • ‘He added that there is a short supply of trained diabeticians.’
      • ‘Supplies were so short that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism, eating the flesh of prisoners and their own troops.’
      • ‘Val's food supply was going on short, she would have thanked him, but instead silently did so.’
      • ‘There is already a short supply in some trades, especially those skilled trades such as bricklayers.’
      • ‘However, the pain lasted only as long as his short supply of breath could keep him alive.’
      • ‘But most of that annual generation will be in summer when power is not short.’
      • ‘Similarly, for the first time in years, the short supply of mechanics appears not so dire.’
      • ‘But if time is short it comes back to the question of direct access.’
      • ‘I don't mind pitching in a situation where staffing is short, supplies are scarce, morale is low.’
      • ‘As food and water became scarce, they were the first that society wanted to exterminate in order to preserve their short supply.’
      • ‘At the moment England are strong on hounds but a little short in the fox department.’
      • ‘The co-operative's arable manager, Phil Rees, warned that supplies could be very short next spring.’
      scarce, in short supply, scant, scanty, meagre, sparse, hard to find, hard to come by, not enough, too little, insufficient, deficient, inadequate, lacking, wanting
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  • 4Phonetics
    (of a vowel) categorized as short with regard to quality and length (e.g. in standard British English the vowel /ʊ/ in good is short as distinct from the long vowel /uː/ in food).

    • ‘There are other vowel sounds in our language besides the short and long vowels.’
    • ‘Maybe it's all part of a plan to nullify the threat from the land of the short sharp vowel.’
    1. 4.1Prosody (of a vowel or syllable) having the lesser of the two recognized durations.
      • ‘Many local accents are marked by a rhythm that tends to lengthen stressed vowels and to reduce or eliminate unstressed short vowels.’
      • ‘A trochee is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short.’
      • ‘It can occur in syllable coda position, but only after a short vowel.’
      • ‘We have alternately one long or forcible syllable, and two short or light ones, recurring over and over.’
  • 5predicative (of a person) terse; uncivil.

    ‘he was often sharp and rather short with her’
    • ‘Owen had been very short with him, his answers to Sam's questions almost monosyllabic.’
    • ‘The remainder of the day progressed as normal, but Mary couldn't help but feel that Bertha was a little short with her.’
    • ‘She and her mother had a good relationship and Eleanor was rarely short with her.’
    • ‘I've tried to be very short with him when he comes to ask for guidance from me.’
    • ‘I don't know what I have done to upset him but I must have done something as Gareth has been very short with me of late.’
    • ‘For a moment I almost felt guilty for being so short with him as his gaze fell and he slouched into his chair.’
    • ‘He is thankful that Fielding visited him again even though Aziz was short with him.’
    • ‘He was short with the press, which did not endear him when it came to the races with Coe.’
    • ‘She's been kind of short with me, spending most of her time with that boy with the scar down his arm.’
    • ‘British Transport Police are being very short with their version of events.’
    • ‘One minute she'll be nice and friendly and the next she'll be short and distant.’
    curt, sharp, abrupt, blunt, brusque, terse, offhand, gruff, ungracious, graceless, surly, snappy, testy, tart, rude, discourteous, uncivil, impolite, ill-mannered, bad-mannered
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  • 6(of odds or a chance) reflecting or representing a high level of probability.

    ‘they have been backed at short odds to win thousands of pounds’
    • ‘The case concerned an investigation by the Australian Jockey Club into a racehorse at short odds finishing fourth.’
    • ‘It did not look an attractive proposition to the London bookmakers and short odds were offered thai Mons would fall.’
    • ‘Otherwise Mark Read will be offering very short odds indeed on NT Labor being a one term government.’
    • ‘It would be difficult not to install the O Hanrahans, short odds to top the pits again.’
    • ‘If you've left it this late to bet, the short odds will make it hard to make too much money from a bet on Science.’
    • ‘You would have to offer him pretty short odds to suggest otherwise.’
    • ‘Scotland's top trainer over the jumps is short odds to achieve his aim despite the attentions of the handicapper.’
    • ‘That inquiry followed positive dope tests on two horses beaten at short odds.’
    • ‘On current form most bookmakers will surely be offering short odds on them managing even the one point this time around.’
    • ‘George has very short odds to be evicted from Celebrity Big Brother, but he's providing us with too much fun for him to go just yet.’
    • ‘At Goodwood, Dolores will doubtless start at short odds to open her winning account in the Conqueror Stakes.’
    • ‘There will be tough competition with Northerly, which will also be at short odds.’
    • ‘Afleet Alex was the favorite at post time in the Preakness, as he will be with short odds in the Belmont.’
    • ‘After all, why else did the bookies place such record-breakingly short odds on just such a draw?’
  • 7(of pastry) containing a high proportion of fat to flour and therefore crumbly.

    • ‘Bring the mixture together to form a short pastry, but don't overwork it.’
    • ‘This had thin, short pastry nicely dusted with icing sugar and was delicious.’
    • ‘Because you don't need the pastry to rise, you can use frozen puff pastry, leftover trimmings, or even short pastry.’
    • ‘There's a proper crunch to the short pastry and the filling ticks all the boxes.’
    • ‘The short pastry is good and the sauce emulsified, but filling is bland invalid food and the ham is elusive.’
    • ‘The pastry was short and there was no doubt about the almond flavour.’
    • ‘The easiest way to do this with very short pastry is wrap it lightly around the rolling pin, lift the pastry up on the rolling pin, and lay it on top of the fruit.’
    • ‘Who can resist the flinty crispness of baked pecans, suspended in a maple-goo inside short, buttery pastry?’
    crumbly, crispy, crisp, brittle, friable
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    1. 7.1 (of clay) having poor plasticity.
      • ‘A short clay will not bend well and tends to break instead of forming when bent.’


  • 1(chiefly in sport) at, to, or over a relatively small distance.

    ‘you go deep and you go short’
    • ‘Flintoff spotted Ganguly charging down the pitch and dropped it short only for the batsman to carve the ball deep into the crowd.’
    • ‘He has encouraged his players to covet the ball, to pass it short and often.’
    • ‘This allows a wider variety of attacking options, with an aerial or passing game, long or short all possible.’
    • ‘He has to mix playing the ball long and short, and is playing it long too often.’
    1. 1.1 Not as far as the point aimed at; not far enough.
      ‘all too often you pitch the ball short’
      • ‘He does tend to hit a lot of balls short, which allowed me to move up in the court and attack.’
      • ‘Diving to score a try against the Ospreys but stopping dead three inches short and the ball popping out: no try.’
      • ‘When he did find an inch of space, John Hartson's return pass fell lamely short.’
      • ‘Today, they are playing away from the body when the ball is pitched short.’
      • ‘Instead, we end up making an ugly pass at the ball and almost always leave it two or three feet short.’
      • ‘Langley was cut down three metres short by Emelio but the Kiwi held him down in the tackle and was dispatched to the sin bin by referee Ian Smith.’
      • ‘A circular motion shows a hit, straight up means the arrow went long, straight down means it went short, etc.’
      • ‘Mightily impressive it may be, but the Continental falls just short.’
      • ‘They had fallen spectacularly short at Euro 2004, eliminated in the first round.’
      • ‘He used all his strength to make one final grasp at redemption but still falls quite short.’
      • ‘His party had come a long way towards defeating a wartime president only to fall agonisingly short.’
      • ‘The ease of the try was ominous, as was Joe Vagana's first-minute break that ended inches short.’
      • ‘The trouble is that his natural delivery is just back of a length and if he is not in the groove, he pitches too short and the batsmen cash in.’
      • ‘Sure enough, I came up 15 yards short and right, and with a bunker between me and the flag which could not have been in a tighter spot.’
      • ‘Westwood's chip was not perfect and just trickled onto the green seven feet short.’
      • ‘Twice GHA opted to kick at goal but both efforts by Noonan fell pitifully short.’
      • ‘Anderson comes close to masterpiece territory here, but falls frustratingly short.’
      • ‘Paul Walsh sent in a high ball which dropped short to Peter Walsh on the edge of the square.’
      • ‘Macalester fought hard to come back and fell just one run short in the end.’
      • ‘That's a big ask, and Boyd falls critically short, and so the whole thing is quite comical.’


  • 1British A drink of spirits served in a small measure.

    • ‘But Billy had never really been a beer drinker, so he stuck to the shorts.’
    • ‘How can you be sure that your pint's a pint and your shorts aren't short?’
    • ‘Police are investigating allegations that cabin crew downed alcohol shorts during a holiday flight returning to Manchester.’
    • ‘The perpetrator was said in court to have drunk 15 pints of beer and five shorts between noon and 4pm on the day of the offence.’
    • ‘Nicholas said he had drunk about six shorts and other alcohol and had taken heroin in the hours leading up to the encounter.’
    • ‘She had drunk a litre of cider and three shorts of vodka and had taken too high a dose of her prescribed medicine.’
    • ‘You ordered shorts instead of pints, because you thought it useful to give the impression that you had money.’
    • ‘There is a fan nearby which fills one ear with white noise and makes me slightly giddy as if I had drunk a short.’
    • ‘So, the harsh truth was that we served shorts and fizzy beer, and that was it.’
    • ‘If a quick health check at the bar uncovers some bad news, the pub will do a roaring trade in stiff shorts.’
    • ‘Drinks run to beers, shorts and coffees and we don't know why it's called Greenwich.’
  • 2A short film as opposed to a feature film.

    • ‘Livia Ruzic is a Melbourne-based sound editor who works on shorts, documentaries and feature films.’
    • ‘It means feature films, not shorts; fiction not documentary.’
    • ‘During this period he also worked on the script development of Scandal and produced two other feature films and three shorts.’
    • ‘Another title followed, announcing Hot Rockers, after which the first short began.’
    • ‘There are also animation shorts, featuring a duo named Nix and Tix, that emphasize certain scientific principles.’
    • ‘Anything you would do differently in making the short or the feature film if you could do it over again?’
    • ‘Lasseter recalls what could carry a feature-length animated film, and some of the older Pixar film shorts are included too.’
    • ‘Alongside the usual cast interviews and making of shorts, there are several great pieces.’
    • ‘A short by Peter Regan entitled Jonny the Pessimist was interesting.’
    • ‘The generation gap also ran through the Dirty Laundry program, a strong collection of shorts examining dysfunctional families.’
    • ‘We decided to try to set up a low budget scheme for film-makers that were ready to move up from shorts to feature films.’
    • ‘Cinematheque Ontario presents five of his features and six shorts, as well as other films selected by Maddin.’
    • ‘All of the shorts and even the featurettes have subtitles.’
    • ‘This festival manages to deliver more than 75 feature films and dozens of shorts in just 10 quick days.’
    • ‘In the end, Conran's six-minute short was probably best left at its original length.’
    • ‘This short represents the show at the pinnacle of its particularly pleasing powers.’
    • ‘That's not surprising as it costs a pretty packet to even shoot a short.’
    • ‘The Raindance festival commences on October 23 and will include 70 feature films and 200 shorts from 22 countries.’
    • ‘I've just directed for the first time - my new love is called Wait, a short.’
    • ‘Arteta made several well-received shorts and the feature film Star Maps, about a would-be movie star who makes a living selling Hollywood maps - and sex.’
  • 3A short sound such as a short signal in Morse code or a short vowel or syllable.

    ‘her call was two longs and a short’
    • ‘To reach Phillip W Steele's grandparents on Gilliland farm, the caller would have to ring two longs and a short on a wooden box on the wall.’
  • 4A short circuit.

    • ‘The transformer laminations or coating of shellac, enamel or varnish is to insulate adjacent turns from shorts between winding.’
    • ‘An internal short can cause the battery cells to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.’
  • 5Stock Market
    A person who sells short.

    • ‘If you conclude the shorts have a good case, sell or lighten up.’
    • ‘The problem is that such stocks often became tempting to shorts only because they are richly priced as a result of manipulation.’
    • ‘During a downtrend, shorts are selling aggressively while the only participants that are buying are bottom pickers.’
    • ‘The shorts are also alarmed by corporate insider selling at Stericycle.’
    • ‘Traders put on the squeeze by buying large amounts of Martha Stewart stock to drive up its price and force the shorts to cover their positions at a loss.’
    1. 5.1shorts Short-dated stocks.
      • ‘He's right too about the Commercials putting out more shorts on a price rise.’
      • ‘A bullish divergence issues a signal to cover your shorts and prepare to enter into a long position.’
  • 6shortsA mixture of bran and coarse flour.

    • ‘The diets contained shorts, bran, or flour alone or in combination.’


  • 1Short-circuit or cause to short-circuit.

    no object ‘the electrical circuit had shorted out’
    with object ‘if the contact terminals are shorted, the battery quickly overheats’
    • ‘If it is a battery that is shorted, the battery will be discharged very quickly and will heat up due to the high current flow.’
    • ‘This means opening the PC and then shorting out two terminals on the motherboard, performing a boot while the terminals are shorted then returning them to their original position.’
    • ‘On his way to the lodge, Mike noticed the back-up generator had shorted out.’
    • ‘The legs of this diode are covered in heat shrink to prevent shorting out.’
    • ‘This gradually builds up over consecutive recharge cycles until it punctures the separator, shorting the battery out.’
    • ‘Weeds also can complete the circuit when they touch the wires, sometimes shorting out the fence so it can't shock anything.’
    • ‘The electric blanket under the pillow had shorted and started a fire in the pillow under his head.’
    • ‘One of the fluorescent fixtures was shorting out and causing a cascade effect.’
    • ‘It sort of reminded me of when you see powerlines shorting out, or see a lot of sort of slow sparks leaping out from this central point.’
    • ‘It didn't seem to work afterwards, until I removed the metal casing (it seems the impacted casing was shorting several connections inside the card).’
    • ‘When this stuff is ‘pressed’ together with the chip, it provides great insulation, and it's kind of rubbery to keep anything from shorting out.’
    • ‘They can be shorted by contact with metal objects and leak or rupture and may cause personal injury.’
    • ‘I picked up the car this afternoon, and they told me the windscreen wiper motor had shorted.’
    • ‘Only by using a ringer test you will know if it shorted or not.’
    • ‘Checking a shorted part's easy: Just connect an ohmmeter, and if it never charges up to an open circuit, then it's either leaky or shorted.’
    • ‘They discovered, whilst very hungover, that every circuit in the house, except the lighting circuit, had blown when the metal knife cutting through the flex had shorted it.’
    • ‘If you did not do anything with the flyback, gradually the internal capacitance will become shorted and you will need to refurbish the flyback.’
    • ‘At some point the electrician came to fix the circuit breaker that shorted out last night.’
    • ‘This will help keep moisture from shorting out the connection.’
    • ‘I picked up the phone again, but it slipped out of my fingers and into the water, where it sparked and shorted out.’
  • 2Stock Market
    with object Sell (stocks or other securities or commodities) in advance of acquiring them, with the aim of making a profit when the price falls.

    ‘the rule prevents sellers from shorting a stock unless the last trade resulted in a price increase’
    • ‘Shorting the stock subjects you to unnecessary risk.’
    • ‘Some 1.6 million shares, 10 % of shares outstanding, have been shorted.’
    • ‘Almost time to short the faster-moving currencies, I think.’
    • ‘Take our investors, for example, who made money shorting financials over the last year.’
    • ‘It would be suicidal to defy the central bank in shorting the bond market.’


  • be caught short

    • 1Be put at a disadvantage.

      ‘he encouraged young people to build up a range of skills so they are not caught short when employment ends suddenly’
      • ‘So lest you be caught short before the Brazil game here are the words to the second verse (ripped off from here) in all their glory.’
      • ‘But critics claim the authority has been caught short.’
      • ‘If we let Dennis Moran duck and dive and weave his way around the park and let him have all the time in the world to put his kicks where he wants them, then we will be caught short.’
      • ‘Given Yeltsin's snap Hogmanay decision to quit it perhaps isn't surprising that Aron's weighty bio was caught short when it came out in hardback earlier this year.’
      • ‘In January this year, the council was caught short when a snowstorm hit the town and gritting trucks were nowhere to be seen.’
      • ‘The council is still caught short with its plans to build public toilets in the centre of the CBD.’
      • ‘After 68 minutes, Town were caught short at the back and Kasowali was allowed to run through and crack a firm shot from 30 metres that gave Ward no chance.’
      • ‘They were caught short last season after setup man RHP Chad Fox went down.’
      • ‘Swindon Council admitted it was caught short as a blizzard left no time for gritters to take to the roads across the borough.’
      • ‘I think the architecture profession will be caught short if we're going to be managing them like previous generations.’
      1. 1.1British informal Urgently need to urinate or defecate.
        ‘those caught short in the store will have to pay £1 to use the toilets’
        • ‘On one occasion, after being caught short during a particularly exciting match, he merrily urinated over the heads of the fans sitting below.’
        • ‘Shoppers were caught short as facilities remained locked when cleaners went on strike.’
        • ‘Gone are the days of being caught short and availing of some light relief for free, as the new superloo brings the town some essential assistance - but at a cost!’
        • ‘Campaigners fighting for new toilets in Bingley fear shoppers will be caught short when the town's last public conveniences close.’
        • ‘They also prevent anglers fishing the canal being caught short.’
        • ‘He told a cautionary tale from the West Country where he claimed buildings had been damaged by those who had been caught short and decided to ‘relieve’ themselves outside listed buildings following closure of toilets in Bristol.’
        • ‘We confirmed with Catherine that when Liam was caught short on the way home he would use the stream to urinate in.’
        • ‘It's actually a two-seater earth toilet called a midden that was built about 200 years ago during the time of the hall's foremost owner, John Spencer, for when residents were caught short in the park.’
        • ‘A dumb burglar was foiled in Holland when he was caught short - he used the toilet, and then flushed it.’
        • ‘Let's just say he certainly no Angel if he's been caught short and doing what we think he's doing in the corner.’
  • a brick short of a load

    • informal (of a person) stupid or mad.

      ‘he seems to be a few bricks short of a load’
      • ‘Or, that those who talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit are one sandwich short of a picnic!’
      • ‘People must think I am two sandwiches short of a picnic.’
      • ‘In short, because I've retired, I'm now being treated as if I'm two sandwiches short of a picnic.’
      • ‘Ken is constantly confused and definitely ‘two sandwiches short of a picnic’, but, in his own ponderous way, is harmless enough.’
      • ‘No surprise, really - Harry has been a failure all his life, not to mention two sandwiches short of a picnic.’
      • ‘I may be two planks short of a sailboat a lot of the time but I generally know how to recognise a leading question just before I walk into it.’
  • a sandwich short of a picnic

    • informal (of a person) stupid or mad.

  • bring (or pull) someone up short

    • Make someone check or pause abruptly.

      ‘he was entering the office when he was brought up short by the sight of John’
      • ‘It was the fact that student was Aboriginal that pulled me up short.’
      • ‘But this provides a tableau of human tragedy which brought me up short when I realised what had happened.’
      • ‘It was, however, a chance remark in Cardiff that brought me up short.’
      • ‘The power of the word froze Cordelia, while Joyce was brought up short by confusion.’
      • ‘As I walked out to the car this morning there was something about the sunshine that brought me up short, made me check the sky for rain clouds, the tyres for pressure and my ankles for matching socks.’
      • ‘Yet suddenly we are brought up short by an act of heroism so obvious and yet so unexpected that one can't help feeling somewhat ashamed of one's voyeurism.’
      • ‘That is an indisputably Shiite name, which brought me up short.’
      • ‘The jump in reasoning brought me up short, and normally I would have leaped on him for it, and the conversation would have ended.’
      • ‘It is then that the good humour of these protests brings you up short.’
      • ‘When Alice Walker's The Color Purple found its way into the satchel of a schoolmate whose mother confiscated the book until she had decided whether it was ‘suitable’, it brought me up short.’
  • come short

    • 1Fail to reach a goal or standard.

      ‘we're so close to getting the job done, but we keep coming up short’
      • ‘Each possesses speed and power, and each came up short with his original organization.’
      • ‘Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.’
      • ‘Sin is falling short of the standard set by God: ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God’.’
      • ‘But while the FSP may be the ultimate solution to Nalukena's poverty stricken life, the programme had come short of reaching out to many other equally impoverished families because of budgetary constraints.’
      • ‘Coach Andy Reid has taken them to the past three NFC title games but has come up short each time.’
      • ‘I didn't feel Turkey were better than Japan but we just came up a bit short.’
      • ‘He just did his best to put together the kind of game plans that win, but he has come up short the past two years.’
      • ‘So, to be honest, it really doesn't matter to me that they came up short this time.’
      • ‘Failing to do so, a church ‘will both fail to develop its people and come short of a world opportunity.’’
      • ‘The US business is still poor and is likely to have come short of the targets but they've continued to win new customers in the UK and have two new power plants on stream.’
      1. 1.1South African Get into trouble.
        ‘if you try to trick him you'll come short’
        • ‘You work your own hours and have lots of time to practice ice-hockey but you have to be very disciplined or you'll come short.’
  • for short

    • As an abbreviation or nickname.

      ‘the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short’
      • ‘Today was meant to be the day of the Big Omiya Barbeque, or BOB for short, but BOB had to be changed.’
      • ‘I think I'll just call it something like Broomhilda's broom or broomy for short.’
      • ‘We won't ask you to try and pronounce her name as she is called Gosha for short.’
      • ‘With neat transatlantic symmetry, it is known as the Press Association, PA for short.’
      • ‘The recommended way of doing this in general is with Cascading Style Sheets - css for short.’
      • ‘It makes even more sense because the airport at Los Angeles, as we all know, is called LAX for short and is also a hole.’
      • ‘Our best idea yet, is to call it Tropical Intelligence Team, or T.I.T. for short.’
      • ‘Yes I am a pedantic conspiracy theorist, or jaded old cynic for short.’
      • ‘Weblogs, or blogs for short, are a cross between a diary, a web site, and an online community.’
      • ‘We could call the journey the Yorkston Acoustic Movement or YAM for short.’
  • get (or have) someone by the short and curlies (or short hairs)

    • informal Have complete control of a person.

      ‘they had you by your short and curlies the minute they got you into that uniform’
      • ‘Gina was putting on a diplomatic front, but when it came down to it she had him by the short and curlies til Angel got himself out from under the mob's oppressive thumb.’
      • ‘. He has you by the short hairs, especially if he sells food and you are hungry.’
      • ‘To be blunt, we have them by the short hairs here.’
      • ‘Unfortunately we have no options - Telkom has got us by the short and curlies because they have got the monopoly.’
      • ‘We should know if the US has us by the short and curlies.’
      • ‘‘The Casino rat pack plus one’ has got us by the short and curlies and are now turning in their knuckles to increase the pain.’
      • ‘I tell you this… the only time we matter to those scum is when we have them by the short hairs.’
      • ‘As one diver questioned about Diverlog commented: ‘Unless you want to stop diving at the Cove, they've got you by the short and curlies!’’
      • ‘Fate's really got me by the short and curlies this time.’
      • ‘They think they have me by the short and curlies, but I shaved everything.’
  • go short

    • Not have enough of something, especially food.

      ‘you won't go short when I die’
      • ‘The tax-and-benefit system is increasingly geared towards ensuring that workers with children do not go short, but if you are entitled to full panoply of benefits and tax credits you're not really going to have a lifestyle.’
      • ‘When I was growing up we had to watch money closely, though we never went short of essentials.’
      • ‘The past few summers haven't been long on rain (2003 has been the exception this decade); in fact we've been going short.’
      • ‘Their report - Going Hungry, carried out by the Food Commission - found that 46% of parents on low household incomes had gone short of food in the last year to feed someone else in their family.’
      • ‘Luckily we've got lots of good friends, so Jack's certainly not going short of outfits, toys or equipment.’
      • ‘Any 30 year old Tennis player would be well within his rights to be a little worried about this obsession, but Tim will never go short on Rhubarb Crumble and chunky Cardigans.’
      • ‘For a hard pressed working class couple it could mean an unpaid gas bill or going short of food.’
      • ‘It wasn't too long before they started up again, with a different kind of balance (and everyone went short on everything).’
      • ‘He was in tears after receiving the fine and even offered to give me £35 he had saved up from his pocket money and go short at Christmas to help towards paying the fine.’
      • ‘So far as I have been able to verify, none of his pet projects went short while he was sick.’
      lack for something, go short, go hungry, be in need, be deprived, be in want, suffer deprivation
      View synonyms
  • in short

    • To sum up; briefly.

      ‘we hope, in short, to bring theory and practice together in each session’
      • ‘It has, in short, become impossible to ignore the fact that obesity is a class issue.’
      • ‘In short, this bill allows the Attorney-General to appoint an almost infinite number of judges.’
      • ‘In short, the quality of your trip depends largely on proper planning for the unexpected.’
      • ‘In short the party of change must now show itself flexible enough to change its own central strategy.’
      • ‘In short, those twin categories must be thought of as indicative, and not absolute, for analytical purposes.’
      • ‘In short, religion, regarded as an explanation of nature, is displaced by science.’
      • ‘In short, the quality of the rifles did not match the performance and expense of the ammunition.’
      • ‘In short we are playing catch-up, as we have so often in the past.’
      • ‘In short, therefore, a change of circumstances may lead to a revised determination of benefit payable.’
      • ‘In short, a quality of life that the profit-first motive can't and won't deliver.’
      briefly, to put it briefly, to put it concisely, to put it succinctly, in a word, in a nutshell, in a few words, in precis, in essence, to cut a long story short, to come to the point
      View synonyms
  • in short order

    • Immediately; rapidly.

      ‘after the killing the camp had been shut down in short order’
      • ‘The choice helps explain why California drained its once plentiful reserves in short order.’
      • ‘Well, they're going to be there in short order, if everyone can get back in there after the debris is cleared away.’
      • ‘By the weekend, federal officials said there could be tens of thousands of troops in New Orleans in short order.’
      • ‘Articulate, meticulous, and a very quick study, he makes himself indispensable in short order.’
      • ‘Of course there are some, very few, that step over the line and they are usually slapped down in short order by the other posters.’
      • ‘The bloggers will, in short order, make the current media structure irrelevant.’
      • ‘They even had padded seats, which I'm pretty sure would get destroyed in short order in New York.’
      • ‘Incredibly you have another killer storm on your hands in short order.’
      • ‘Moore turns up at the bank and is shown getting a rifle in short order.’
      • ‘I would certainly lose my clearance, my job, and my career, in short order.’
      immediately, at once, instantly, directly, right away, straight away, now, that minute, this minute, that very minute, this very minute, that instant, this instant, then and there, there and then, here and now, in a flash, like a flash, instantaneously, by return, post-haste, without delay, without further ado, without more ado, without hesitation, unhesitatingly
      View synonyms
  • in the short run (or term)

    • In the near future.

      ‘they will increase output in the short run’
      ‘in the short term some sacrifices may be made’
      • ‘Leaving money on deposit is safer in the short run.’
      • ‘And it's very hard to see that improvement is going to come in the short run.’
      • ‘The solutions may cost money in the short run but will save it in the long term.’
      • ‘I'm not really certain of where I'm trying to go in the short run, although I do know where I want it all to end up.’
      • ‘Because the US dollar is the international reserve currency, the Americans can get away with a big deficit in the short run.’
      • ‘The only difference is that they have an additional duty of brainwashing people in order to make the scheme acceptable to them in the short run.’
      • ‘It hurts us in the long run, and it hurts consumers in the short run.’
      • ‘Are they going to be able to resist the temptation of low prices in the short run in exchange for less innovation in the future?’
      • ‘But in the short run, in an economy struggling to generate jobs and income, it's not such good news.’
      • ‘You will find that it is possible to reach large numbers of the poor with these measures in the short run, even as you plan for the longer term.’
  • little (or nothing) short of

    • Almost (or equal to); little (or nothing) less than.

      ‘he regarded the cost of living as little short of scandalous’
      • ‘I feel passionately that if the National Trust split this particular farm it is nothing short of criminal.’
      • ‘To lose this development would be nothing short of catastrophic for the economic life of the town.’
      • ‘However, the real turning point arrived four minutes into the third quarter and was nothing short of bizarre.’
      • ‘Recently relaunched, the car's performance on bumpy roads is little short of astonishing.’
      • ‘This was served with a creamy garlic purée, which was nothing short of sinfully good.’
      • ‘Two years ago I woke up on a day so sunny and gorgeous, it was nothing short of surreal.’
      • ‘These figures are nothing short of staggering and should serve as a wake-up call.’
      • ‘The train journey down to Reading on Thursday evening was nothing short of miraculous.’
      • ‘Indeed, once the first autumn flood eventually came, the sport was nothing short of fantastic in places.’
      • ‘Mental, crushing, and amazing all in equal doses, the mix is nothing short of perfect.’
  • make short work of

    • Accomplish, consume, or destroy quickly.

      ‘we made short work of our huge portions’
      • ‘We were making short work of the alcohol on offer, so Gin & Tonic was bought into the mix.’
      • ‘And he makes short work of his fish food, let me tell you.’
      • ‘Sparrows, finches and other hard-billed birds will make short work of all the left-over seeds, so they won't be wasted; and Mr Aconley will doubtless be treated to even more conversations and songs!’
      • ‘A knobby, trail-runner-type outsole makes short work of Atlantic City sludge.’
      • ‘The huge and powerful Hilti drill is a little bit too heavy for bolt climbing but it made short work of the age-old limestone.’
      • ‘The task was accomplished though, and U.S. forces made short work of what was until then the world's 5th largest army.’
      • ‘But the real world makes short work of John Waynes.’
      • ‘Then there was Subaru's all-wheel drive, which makes short work of slick and icy roads by switching power to whichever fat, 17-inch-wide tires are gripping when the others are slipping.’
      • ‘England are making short work of a group that lacks quality, and should have a World Cup place in the bag with plenty to spare’
      • ‘The Japanese are making short work of U.S. encrypted military transmissions, slowing American progress to win the war.’
  • sell short

    • Sell stock or other securities or commodities which one does not own at the time, in the hope of buying at a lower price before the delivery time.

      • ‘The NYSE calculates program trading as the sum of shares bought, sold and sold short in program trades.’
      • ‘One million shares in company A have been sold short.’
      • ‘The best shares to short - provided you believe the fundamentals of the company you are shorting are poor - are those where very few shares have been sold short.’
      • ‘When you sell short, you're betting that the price of a stock is going to go down.’
      • ‘The stock began the year with 50 million shares sold short.’
      • ‘Second, if the price of the stock goes up after you sell short, your potential loss grows.’
      • ‘Also, since they trade intraday, ETFs can be bought long or sold short, used in hedge strategies and bought on margin.’
      • ‘Short interest is simply the total number of shares of a company that have been sold short.’
      • ‘When the market rises and the bulls are greediest, the pros sell short.’
      • ‘ETFs can be bought on margin, sold short or bought at a limit price (a minimum or maximum price set by the investor).’
  • sell someone/something short

    • Fail to recognize or state the true value of.

      ‘don't sell yourself short—you've got what it takes’
      • ‘Neither does he sell himself short on the talent front.’
      • ‘In the same instance you shouldn't sell yourself short.’
      • ‘The description sells Douglas a little short.’
      • ‘I wasn't keen on the title because I felt it sold the band short.’
      • ‘I think a lot of them sell themselves short.’
      • ‘To say Christopher is a well-connected British gent is to sell him short.’
      • ‘But at every level, Clarke's proposal patronises these would-be undergraduates and sells them short.’
      • ‘Don't sell yourself short, you're a beautiful woman.’
      • ‘Like a lot of modern audiences, those people are selling themselves short.’
      • ‘Putting that understanding into words would only sell it short.’
      undervalue, underrate, underestimate, disparage, deprecate, belittle
      View synonyms
  • short and sweet

    • Brief but pleasant or relevant.

      ‘his comments were short and sweet’
      • ‘‘Well that was short and sweet,’ Deed commented on Merkaydi's answer.’
      • ‘I won't go further than that, and I'll keep it short and sweet.’
      • ‘Alas, Rowe beat me to it, so I'll keep this short and sweet.’
      • ‘Martin Scorsese is a true film buff and knows to keep his comments short and sweet when dealing with The Golden Coach.’
      • ‘It's short and sweet so see what you think anyway.’
      • ‘Oh, and it's short and sweet and will fit nicely on signs.’
      • ‘‘No point in boring the crowd, keep it short and sweet,’ says Tim.’
      • ‘Make it short and sweet, meaning no ten page essays.’
      • ‘Thanks to mother nature it shall be short and sweet.’
      • ‘I am going to keep this short and sweet, but here goes.’
      concise, brief, succinct, to the point, compact, terse, curt, summary, economical, crisp, short and sweet, pithy, epigrammatic, laconic, pointed, thumbnail, abridged, abbreviated, condensed, synoptic, compendious, summarized, contracted, curtailed, truncated
      View synonyms
  • the short end of the stick

    • An outcome in which one has less advantage than others.

      • ‘Some thought that boys got the short end of the stick and that their female teachers favored girls.’
      • ‘The Republicans certainly did come out with the short end of the stick, although not dramatically.’
      • ‘He presented a group of students with a hypothetical unfair situation, in which they got the short end of the stick.’
      • ‘We were and are facing a new definition of class - the Digital Divide - and guess who's on the short end of the stick?’
      • ‘As a side note, I have no doubt that many conservative students get the short end of the stick from their uniformly leftist profs.’
      • ‘And it found, as Ron just said, that it's on the short end of the stick now.’
      • ‘Some Americans find themselves on the short end of the stick, ‘limited by failing schools, hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth.’’
      • ‘But at least the hope was that that 2% would ease things a bit for those who got the short end of the stick.’
      • ‘However, Exodus always seemed to be getting the short end of the stick.’
      • ‘So if you ignore it, you end up, you know, getting the short end of the stick.’
  • short for

    • An abbreviation or nickname for.

      ‘I'm Robbie—short for Roberta’
      • ‘I think I've chosen the name Thena for her, short for Athena, Greek Goddess of War.’
      • ‘The Queen's first family nickname was Lilibet, short for Elizabeth.’
      • ‘R.O., short for Romantic Obsession, is pretty much a fact of life for innate singletons.’
      • ‘Gerald is short for Geraldine, because even in this story it would be too cruel to name a girl Gerald.’
      • ‘Sam, in fact, was short for Sambo, a nickname he accepted with the grace and good humour that characterised the man.’
      • ‘They also didn't want it to have a shorter nickname like Jenny, short for Jennifer.’
      • ‘Fish is short for Vishnevski, a generic Eastern European name that is intended to provide a broad hint about his Jewish roots.’
      • ‘PfA, short for People For Animals, cares for and rehabilitates injured animals.’
      • ‘I've decided on the name for my other fish; his name will be Storm, short for Johnny Storm.’
      • ‘Bill, short for Wilhelmina, was secretary to Vita Sackville-West, and dressed in men's suits.’
  • short of

    • 1Less than.

      ‘he died at sixty-one, four years short of his pensionable age’
      • ‘All this from a club that has been provisional liquidation for only four weeks short of two years.’
      • ‘Alan Knott remembers it with some bitterness as he was stranded on 96 not out, four runs short of a maiden test century.’
      • ‘But running Mobile Mark resulted in a battery life just four minutes short of three hours.’
      • ‘The babies were only 30 weeks, a crucial four weeks short of the hoped-for delivery.’
      • ‘They were four players short of the team that had won the Munster crown but the replacements were also top class.’
      • ‘Larsson will be still four months short of his 33rd birthday when his current deal ends.’
      • ‘He fell four points short of his career high of 56 set in a loss at Toronto on March 20.’
      • ‘The governing Uri Party is only four seats short of a majority in the National Assembly.’
      • ‘Finally, at two minutes short of four hours, Henman served out for the victory.’
      • ‘He was out caught to a fine catch by Hayward at mid-off just four short of his best of 73 not out.’
      1. 1.1Not reaching as far as.
        ‘a rocket failure left a satellite tumbling in an orbit far short of its proper position’
        • ‘The Port defence stood solid when Tullamore took on two short penalties only to be stopped short of the line.’
        • ‘She backed up and sped down the driveway and stopped just inches short of the closed gate.’
        • ‘I got run out by a direct hit and Kabir managed to slip, fall over his bat only to try to scramble in on all fours and be just short of the line when the bails came off!’
        • ‘The final execution of his plans, however, fell well short of success.’
        • ‘We had reached the village of Brecy by nightfall, some way short of our objective.’
        • ‘She had to abandon her singles effort when she fell short of the main draw.’
        • ‘He proceeded to take four shots from just short of the green, to lose woefully.’
        • ‘It stands on a short glazed foot rim and base rising to an everted c-shaped glazed body stopping short of the rim.’
        • ‘Besides that, a creek crosses the fairway short of the green and sees its share of misery.’
        • ‘The long-awaited Asterix falls far short of the mark, it's not half as clever and funny as all the rest.’
      2. 1.2Without going so far as (some extreme action)
        ‘short of putting out an all-persons alert, there's little else we can do’
        • ‘I don't know if Arthur Lee is in the house, but short of that, can you be the one to help our friend?’
        • ‘It is perfectly clear that short of a major wave of renewed religiosity, such a return is inconceivable.’
        • ‘If you're good friends with people throwing the kegger, you have no excuse not to go short of a wedding or funeral.’
        • ‘Covers are probably the safest thing you can do in the music industry, short of debuting the song at Princess Di's funeral.’
        • ‘But short of tearing up the city and starting again, there is no comprehensive fix at hand.’
        • ‘And short of calling in the Office of Cyberspace Security, there is little we can do.’
        • ‘Accept that there will be no solution to Muslim extremism short of a settlement for Palestine.’
        apart from, other than, in any other way than, aside from, besides, except, except for, excepting, without, without going so far as, excluding, leaving out, not counting, disregarding, save, save for
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  • short of breath

    • Panting; short-winded.

      ‘they become short of breath on very slight exertion’
      • ‘It would leave him short of breath and more easily tired for the rest of his days, however.’
      • ‘People who experience both asthma and hay fever may also wheeze and become short of breath.’
      • ‘If you have asthma, and you inhale the airborne pollen, you may start coughing, wheezing, and be short of breath.’
      • ‘For the first time in over four months he could breathe without feeling short of breath.’
      • ‘This makes them appear pale, and they may become abnormally tired and short of breath while playing.’
      • ‘Many women find that they need to slow down their pace of exercise during pregnancy when they are short of breath or tired.’
      • ‘I remember breathing very quickly and becoming short of breath.’
      • ‘Laughing until she's short of breath, her panting pleas for release are finally granted.’
      • ‘After five heart attacks and a stroke, Charles Neal's heart was so worn out that he could not walk across a room without feeling exhausted and short of breath.’
      • ‘Usually I could only run a very short distance before getting too exhausted and short of breath to continue.’
      out of breath, panting, puffing, gasping, gasping for breath, huffing and puffing, puffing and blowing, puffed, puffed out, gulping, gulping for breath, wheezing, wheezy, choking, winded
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  • stop short

    • Stop (or cause to stop) suddenly or abruptly.

      ‘she began to speak, but stopped short at the look on the other woman's face’
      ‘I was about to reply with a sarcastic remark when a thought stopped me short’
      • ‘Casey stopped short at the sight of the other five training agents, staring at her with questions.’
      • ‘She stopped short at the sight of Tyler and a smile spread across her lips.’
      • ‘She looked like she might have a hangover, but she stopped short at the sight of Faith.’
  • stop short of

    • Not go as far as (some extreme action)

      ‘the measures stopped short of establishing direct trade links’
      • ‘But so far the information commissioner has stopped short of calling for amendments to the Data Protection Act.’
      • ‘He knew all the heroin injecting crowd in this part of Milan but stopped short of that.’
      • ‘Next month, he is due to publish a long-awaited Public Health White Paper, which is expected to include measures to limit smoking in public places but to stop short of a total ban.’
      • ‘The company's art directors have always stopped short of what they see as blatant titillation.’
      • ‘He stopped short of actually defending high fuel taxes on environmental grounds, but the link has been made.’
      • ‘I'm hoping for the US to stop short of that, but it's going to be pretty difficult.’
      • ‘Though stopping short of overtly red-baiting him, the newspaper continued to refer to his earlier associations with leftist organizations.’
      • ‘It stops short of allowing the donor's identity to be revealed but means children can, once they are 18, apply for information about the physical description, occupation and interests.’
      • ‘But the Christie measures stop short of clamping cars whose drivers exceed parking time they have paid for, or who fail to pay.’
      • ‘Were you surprised at the charges that the attorney general leveled against him - stopping short of treason, stopping short of something that could have justified the death penalty?’
      baulk at, fight shy of, shy away from, recoil from, shrink from, draw back from, stop short of
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Old English sceort, of Germanic origin; related to shirt and skirt.