Definition of short in US 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 suspect is a white man, 6ft tall, with stubble, short dark hair, and crooked white teeth.’
    • ‘He had earlier used seven of his own clubs in a vain attempt to keep the ball on the short grass.’
    • ‘The offender is described as a white man, 5ft 10 in tall, with short dark hair and of medium build.’
    • ‘This suggests that the sclerite wall curved into the cavity, forming a short canal or tube.’
    • ‘Josh picked up his pace and jogged across the park and short expanse of field to the metal dugouts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Danielle shook her head in confusion, walking quickly down the short hallway to her room.’
    • ‘He peered down the short hall which was off the kitchen and nodded to himself when he saw the familiar set up.’
    • ‘Bertha ran downstairs as quickly as her short legs would carry her, a mix of fear and intense fury flooding her veins.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had short dark hair, a small thin moustache and brown eyes.’
    • ‘The distance over which a boat crew has line of sight is surprisingly short.’
    • ‘As she was about to turn away from the window Joanna heard voices coming from the park at the end of the short street.’
    • ‘The towering man with short white hair walked quickly down the sidewalk as he spoke.’
    • ‘Believe me, the game is a lot easier when your tee shots consistently find the short grass.’
    • ‘The fencers would stand in an almost upright position with a short stance and the knees only slightly bent.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a journey) covering a small distance.
      ‘the hotel is a short walk from the sea’
      • ‘WE ARE SITTING in a restaurant a short walk from the bookstore and I have just read him the extract above.’
      • ‘And the River Aire, just a short walk from his Carleton home, flowed through his life as a constant companion.’
      • ‘Entry into the rear is not too difficult either and there is room enough for adults - if only on short journeys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now hardly anybody works on Saturday mornings and cars and buses are freely available to make the short journey to Ibrox or Parkhead.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A short walk, which was perfumed by wood-smoke, led us to a small clearing where the charcoal burner was situated.’
      • ‘Hannah had been with friends at pubs in Bevois Valley before she was abducted on the short walk home on Friday, March 14.’
      • ‘Another night, on the short walk home, he became disoriented and lost, and eventually found himself in an endless tunnel.’
      • ‘From the Roemer it's only a short walk to the banks of the Main River.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘It's such a short journey to Germany that the tournament could almost feel like a home event to the Czechs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are many options to choose from including many only a short walk or ride from the gaming tables.’
      • ‘They had managed to brave the strong winds and to make the short journey down Main Street on foot.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Wrapping her arms about her, Jenni cursed her choice of a skirt and short sleeves.’
      • ‘At the prescription counter, there was a pregnant lady in front of me, in a short dress.’
      • ‘Knee-length skirts and slightly shorter ones were also combined with short coats.’
      • ‘It's about short skirts, pretty ponytails and staying feminine, if you please.’
      • ‘Seiron wore black dress pants, a white shirt with short sleeves and both wore black boots to match.’
      • ‘When I wore my shirt with its short sleeves you could see the scars on my wrist.’
      • ‘Most college girls know they do not have nice legs and keep away from short skirts.’
      • ‘In all but the coldest months, she went about in sleeveless blouses and short skirts.’
      • ‘Next on the ramp, was a model wearing a short skirt and top, all woven in silk.’
      • ‘She wore the short skirts and skimpy clothing that people like that would wear.’
      • ‘She wore a flimsy white cotton dress with short sleeves, a pink sash about the waist, and a skirt that blew in the wind.’
      • ‘Women attending university are told at the gate that their skirts are too short, or asked why they are wearing jeans.’
      • ‘As the passengers disembarked Toad noticed a hot young woman in a short skirt and leather jacket.’
      • ‘Lollipop ladies were warned yesterday that they must not wear short skirts and high heels while on duty.’
      • ‘She was never associated with skimpy bathing suits, low cut gowns and short dresses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Only now they were incongruously dressed in sheepskin jackets and short skirts.’
      • ‘The man is described as 25, white, wearing a white polo shirt with short sleeves and navy shorts down to his knees.’
      • ‘Sleeveless tops and short skirts make it impossible to hide from the prying eyes of children.’
      • ‘His shirt had short sleeves, exposing pale, wiry arms, but he showed no sign of being cold.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Usually, the person at the helm gaffs the trap, but I'm rather short so I decide to just steer.’
      • ‘I stand behind a short woman who was behind a tall woman and husband.’
      • ‘My mother was quite short in stature, she had been an orphan, and my cousin Vera considered her very beautiful.’
      • ‘After all, if the desk is higher, a short person can always get a booster seat.’
      • ‘We will recruit thousands more police, especially among ethnic minorities and short people.’
      • ‘He was short and stocky, maybe ten years older than Jeremy, with a brown brush-cut.’
      • ‘I am tired of short people who can't see over the steering wheel driving large cars.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One was a short man with bushy eyebrows, another looked like a corpse and, oddly, the third was a man in fishnets.’
      • ‘Like his brother Larry, Michael was also short and skinny when he was young.’
      • ‘He is cute, tall (remember the run of short guys) and witty so we will see how that goes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So yesterday, before going out to Popstarz with Gideon, Nick and Davo, I sent Davo a link to an article about short men.’
      • ‘I wanted to join the police when I was younger but I was too short.’
      • ‘You have to imagine a tiny, thin, short fellow with a white beard and bald head.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.) traveling only a small distance before bouncing.
      ‘he uses his opportunities to attack every short ball’
      • ‘Bangladesh also showed that they have learned in other areas, notably how to play the short ball.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5
      short for shortstop
  • 2Lasting or taking a small amount of time.

    ‘visiting London for a short break’
    ‘a short conversation’
    • ‘Days were very short and the Arabian night falls quickly across the waters of the Gulf.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ship was closed for a short period while it was shifted to a new location opposite the Gateway of India.’
    • ‘In 1975 they got together a small group and went over to the UK to work the Irish music venues on a short tour.’
    • ‘Stalwart cricketer and former president of Glusburn cricket club has died aged 80, after a short illness.’
    • ‘The evening closed with a short entertainment of music and poetry provided by members.’
    • ‘Although his cricket career was short, the stories that grew up around him were tall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She had felt as though Luca were getting closer and closer until a short while ago.’
    • ‘After a short conversation he left but the residents believe someone tampered with a back window while he was there.’
    • ‘A short visit to my son's new home shows how deeply such thinking confuses cause and effect.’
    • ‘She was suspicious and, after a short conversation, told the man to leave.’
    • ‘He recently resigned as manager of The Neale after a short stint in that position.’
    • ‘We'll continue our conversation with both of these senators after a short break.’
    • ‘His career was as short as it was spectacular and he later emigrated to Australia where he pursued a career as schoolmaster and journalist.’
    • ‘Mourinho's father Felix picked up the receiver and spoke quietly during a short conversation.’
    • ‘However, others argue that even a short visit to Varna can refute pessimistic appraisals of the situation.’
    • ‘The child was born while Banks was in prison, and the connection between them was only through very short visits, said the judge.’
    • ‘Traditionally Pergia weddings are short and the crowd clears out quickly afterwards.’
    • ‘Michael Holding has created a niche for himself in a short period of time.’
    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’
      • ‘Two short years was enough to take me from imagining what it must be like to be that person, to actually being that person!’
      • ‘I noticed how much has changed over these 10 short years, cinema prices, for instance.’
      • ‘The book only covered a short ten years of my life and stopped when I was eighteen.’
      • ‘Four short years is not enough to turn around the social deficit that National created.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A few short hours earlier, something like a miracle obviously had occurred.’
      • ‘As a disclaimer, I am a Christian of over slightly more than one short year and am no expert.’
      • ‘For a short afternoon back in early January Harry Redknapp was reminded of life at the top.’
      • ‘Rodeo cowboys drive for hours, even days, to ride for eight short seconds and then drive home.’
      • ‘But a few short years later, into your second or third job, you take a car loan.’
      • ‘I have seen far too many people give up too quickly on their programs after a few short weeks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Using these skills Milka has advanced to this world-class level in an amazingly short five years.’
      • ‘In just a few short minutes she would be getting her first assignment.’
      • ‘In a few short minutes the two warriors were fleeing the capitol city of Elon.’
    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’
      • ‘Yet those who might write off the Commonwealth and European medallist have short memories.’
      • ‘The deputy either has a very short memory or is suffering from political amnesia.’
      • ‘The trouble with Mr Saunders is that he has a very short and selective memory.’
      • ‘Investors, institutional and retail, have famously short memories.’
      • ‘Some people might have very short memories but there are others on this side of the House who have very long memories.’
      • ‘But in Ireland coalition crises come and go, and the electorate proves to have a short memory.’
      • ‘It is not just the public but also the commentators' memories that are short.’
      • ‘He tells us we all have short memories and that traffic is no worse.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A few beers and a short memory can drive away the day's problems, so the thinking goes.’
      • ‘You look back at the last two or three years, you have a short memory, so you think it will always be thus.’
      • ‘Only those who are blessed with short memories can believe that the history of ideas is a tale of progress.’
      • ‘Memories are short and unless the media or Opposition pick up on it, the government's failure will go largely unnoticed.’
      • ‘Those who have damned Woods's second consecutive Masters win as dull have short memory spans.’
      • ‘Domestic issues are dominating in the hope the electorate have short memories and limited concentration.’
      • ‘I always think that folk who say they prefer winter to summer are either lying or have short memories.’
      • ‘People have short memories and will not associate the newly named hotel with the disaster.’
      • ‘The mandarins of the Ministry of Defence have hard necks and short memories.’
      • ‘The first lesson of politics is that many memories are short - but, fortunately, not yet too many.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘The effect was to throw prices and expectations into chaos when stocks were short.’
      • ‘Speculators have no firm commitment to the long or the short side of the market.’
    4. 2.4Stock Market (of a broker, position in the market, etc.) buying or based on short stocks or other securities or commodities.
      • ‘Take short positions with caution until the market reverts back to bull confirmed.’
      • ‘If a short squeeze occurs and enough short sellers buy back the stock, the price could go even higher.’
      • ‘Unlike other investors, he can establish either long or short positions in securities.’
      • ‘Shorters or short sellers are traders who sell shares that they don't already own.’
      • ‘In other words, you need two long call options to hedge one short futures contract.’
    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 second note had been shorter than the first, so short that Asim had quickly memorized it.’
    • ‘I shall simply make a short summary of the position and annexe his judgment to my own.’
    • ‘Have each guest give you a pic of herself with the birthday girl along with a short note of funny memories.’
    • ‘The short essay then quickly moves on to a concern about how we should read Nietzsche's texts.’
    • ‘Most of the applications were short and boring, but Jim's eyes instantly settled on the longest one.’
    • ‘One of the key issues to be considered in this short introduction is the extent to which this is true.’
    • ‘I'm apologising in advance for the very short chapter, I'll put another one up soon.’
    • ‘The intent of this short book is for it to be used as a simple and direct guide in a time of great danger.’
    • ‘Quickly he scribbled a short note, tore off the page and then tossed the two items back down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plan to write a relatively short novel; you are producing one book, not a library.’
    • ‘Often Roth and his cohorts exchange short essays instead of speaking to one another.’
    • ‘She quickly ran downstairs to her desk and wrote a short reply, before running back upstairs.’
    • ‘Their articles are researched, well written and blissfully short.’
    • ‘He wants leave to file a short affidavit explaining his position, so he did that, did he, Mr Hough?’
    • ‘The third book is longer than the first two, but is relatively short.’
    • ‘This relatively short opinion questionnaire gives a pretty accurate account of where you really stand.’
    • ‘The only problem I have with the novels is that they're so short!’
    • ‘Here, with a short artist's biography, is the concert programme listed in full.’
    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
    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’
      • ‘With the retirement of Istabraq we are short on stars but this lady could soon be a darling with racegoers everywhere.’
      • ‘Two of the main ingredients in this are sugar and refined flour, both of which are seriously short on nutrients.’
      • ‘Coming off four heavy defeats on the bounce, his charges looked lamentably short on confidence.’
      • ‘We have not gotten off that, which is why we're short on equipment and personnel and training.’
      • ‘Mulberry was a little short on heritage; worse still, it was bereft of excitement.’
      • ‘Reading a book of plays is another great way to get some reading in when you're short on time.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Newer outfits can also face potential conflicts of interest, or at least be short on quality.’
      • ‘Was it a ruse to allow reporters short on subject matter to fill the pages dedicated to the European Championship?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister's speech was short on any vision that addressed those matters.’
      • ‘The students are long on facts and short on the reflection and analysis that comes with experience.’
      • ‘They were short on information, but all said Deane had resigned from the OPP.’
      • ‘What the South African world number four will be short on is the level of confidence achieved only through winning.’
      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’
      • ‘He added that there is a short supply of trained diabeticians.’
      • ‘Animals like this only come into the open when the natural food supply is short.’
      • ‘I don't mind pitching in a situation where staffing is short, supplies are scarce, morale is low.’
      • ‘But if time is short it comes back to the question of direct access.’
      • ‘Pigs are the one bright spot on the horizon but supplies are short.’
      • ‘Similarly, for the first time in years, the short supply of mechanics appears not so dire.’
      • ‘But most of that annual generation will be in summer when power is not short.’
      • ‘Val's food supply was going on short, she would have thanked him, but instead silently did so.’
      • ‘At the moment England are strong on hounds but a little short in the fox department.’
      • ‘The short supply of tomatoes means prices are higher, too, which means there's less demand.’
      • ‘There is already a short supply in some trades, especially those skilled trades such as bricklayers.’
      • ‘They reward bravery and commitment - something never short with Simon.’
      • ‘Supplies were so short that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism, eating the flesh of prisoners and their own troops.’
      • ‘As food and water became scarce, they were the first that society wanted to exterminate in order to preserve their short supply.’
      • ‘Work out arrangements in advance with other farmers to help you out when your supplies are short.’
      • ‘However, the pain lasted only as long as his short supply of breath could keep him alive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The matriarch shrugged her shoulders and said that supplies were short.’
      • ‘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).

    • ‘Maybe it's all part of a plan to nullify the threat from the land of the short sharp vowel.’
    • ‘There are other vowel sounds in our language besides the short and long vowels.’
    1. 4.1Prosody (of a vowel or syllable) having the lesser of the two recognized durations.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many local accents are marked by a rhythm that tends to lengthen stressed vowels and to reduce or eliminate unstressed short vowels.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘British Transport Police are being very short with their version of events.’
    • ‘The remainder of the day progressed as normal, but Mary couldn't help but feel that Bertha was a little short with her.’
    • ‘I've tried to be very short with him when he comes to ask for guidance from me.’
    • ‘Owen had been very short with him, his answers to Sam's questions almost monosyllabic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For a moment I almost felt guilty for being so short with him as his gaze fell and he slouched into his chair.’
    • ‘One minute she'll be nice and friendly and the next she'll be short and distant.’
    • ‘She and her mother had a good relationship and Eleanor was rarely short with her.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That inquiry followed positive dope tests on two horses beaten at short odds.’
    • ‘The case concerned an investigation by the Australian Jockey Club into a racehorse at short odds finishing fourth.’
    • ‘Otherwise Mark Read will be offering very short odds indeed on NT Labor being a one term government.’
    • ‘There will be tough competition with Northerly, which will also be at short odds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It would be difficult not to install the O Hanrahans, short odds to top the pits again.’
    • ‘After all, why else did the bookies place such record-breakingly short odds on just such a draw?’
    • ‘At Goodwood, Dolores will doubtless start at short odds to open her winning account in the Conqueror Stakes.’
    • ‘It did not look an attractive proposition to the London bookmakers and short odds were offered thai Mons would fall.’
    • ‘Afleet Alex was the favorite at post time in the Preakness, as he will be with short odds in the Belmont.’
    • ‘On current form most bookmakers will surely be offering short odds on them managing even the one point this time around.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 7(of pastry) containing a high proportion of fat to flour and therefore crumbly.

    • ‘The short pastry is good and the sauce emulsified, but filling is bland invalid food and the ham is elusive.’
    • ‘Bring the mixture together to form a short pastry, but don't overwork it.’
    • ‘There's a proper crunch to the short pastry and the filling ticks all the boxes.’
    • ‘Because you don't need the pastry to rise, you can use frozen puff pastry, leftover trimmings, or even short pastry.’
    • ‘The pastry was short and there was no doubt about the almond flavour.’
    • ‘This had thin, short pastry nicely dusted with icing sugar and was delicious.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘He has to mix playing the ball long and short, and is playing it long too often.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flintoff spotted Ganguly charging down the pitch and dropped it short only for the batsman to carve the ball deep into the crowd.’
    1. 1.1 Not as far as the point aimed at; not far enough.
      ‘all too often you pitch the ball short’
      • ‘When he did find an inch of space, John Hartson's return pass fell lamely short.’
      • ‘Macalester fought hard to come back and fell just one run short in the end.’
      • ‘They had fallen spectacularly short at Euro 2004, eliminated in the first round.’
      • ‘Diving to score a try against the Ospreys but stopping dead three inches short and the ball popping out: no try.’
      • ‘Westwood's chip was not perfect and just trickled onto the green seven feet 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.’
      • ‘Today, they are playing away from the body when the ball is pitched short.’
      • ‘He used all his strength to make one final grasp at redemption but still falls quite short.’
      • ‘Mightily impressive it may be, but the Continental falls just short.’
      • ‘Twice GHA opted to kick at goal but both efforts by Noonan fell pitifully short.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The ease of the try was ominous, as was Joe Vagana's first-minute break that ended inches short.’
      • ‘Anderson comes close to masterpiece territory here, but falls frustratingly 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.’
      • ‘He does tend to hit a lot of balls short, which allowed me to move up in the court and attack.’
      • ‘Paul Walsh sent in a high ball which dropped short to Peter Walsh on the edge of the square.’
      • ‘That's a big ask, and Boyd falls critically short, and so the whole thing is quite comical.’
      • ‘A circular motion shows a hit, straight up means the arrow went long, straight down means it went short, etc.’
      • ‘Instead, we end up making an ugly pass at the ball and almost always leave it two or three feet short.’
      • ‘His party had come a long way towards defeating a wartime president only to fall agonisingly short.’


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

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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During a downtrend, shorts are selling aggressively while the only participants that are buying are bottom pickers.’
    • ‘The problem is that such stocks often became tempting to shorts only because they are richly priced as a result of manipulation.’
    • ‘If you conclude the shorts have a good case, sell or lighten up.’
    • ‘The shorts are also alarmed by corporate insider selling at Stericycle.’
    1. 5.1shorts Short-dated stocks.
      • ‘A bullish divergence issues a signal to cover your shorts and prepare to enter into a long position.’
      • ‘He's right too about the Commercials putting out more shorts on a price rise.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This gradually builds up over consecutive recharge cycles until it punctures the separator, shorting the battery out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 it is a battery that is shorted, the battery will be discharged very quickly and will heat up due to the high current flow.’
    • ‘I picked up the car this afternoon, and they told me the windscreen wiper motor had shorted.’
    • ‘Weeds also can complete the circuit when they touch the wires, sometimes shorting out the fence so it can't shock anything.’
    • ‘One of the fluorescent fixtures was shorting out and causing a cascade effect.’
    • ‘If you did not do anything with the flyback, gradually the internal capacitance will become shorted and you will need to refurbish the flyback.’
    • ‘This will help keep moisture from shorting out the connection.’
    • ‘Only by using a ringer test you will know if it shorted or not.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The electric blanket under the pillow had shorted and started a fire in the pillow under his head.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At some point the electrician came to fix the circuit breaker that shorted out last night.’
    • ‘The legs of this diode are covered in heat shrink to prevent shorting out.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘Almost time to short the faster-moving currencies, I think.’
    • ‘Shorting the stock subjects you to unnecessary risk.’
    • ‘Take our investors, for example, who made money shorting financials over the last year.’
    • ‘Some 1.6 million shares, 10 % of shares outstanding, have been shorted.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think the architecture profession will be caught short if we're going to be managing them like previous generations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Swindon Council admitted it was caught short as a blizzard left no time for gritters to take to the roads across the borough.’
      • ‘They were caught short last season after setup man RHP Chad Fox went down.’
      • ‘In January this year, the council was caught short when a snowstorm hit the town and gritting trucks were nowhere to be seen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But critics claim the authority has been caught short.’
      • ‘The council is still caught short with its plans to build public toilets in the centre of the CBD.’
      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’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Campaigners fighting for new toilets in Bingley fear shoppers will be caught short when the town's last public conveniences close.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘They also prevent anglers fishing the canal being caught short.’
        • ‘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!’
        • ‘We confirmed with Catherine that when Liam was caught short on the way home he would use the stream to urinate in.’
        • ‘Shoppers were caught short as facilities remained locked when cleaners went on strike.’
        • ‘On one occasion, after being caught short during a particularly exciting match, he merrily urinated over the heads of the fans sitting below.’
        • ‘A dumb burglar was foiled in Holland when he was caught short - he used the toilet, and then flushed it.’
        • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Ken is constantly confused and definitely ‘two sandwiches short of a picnic’, but, in his own ponderous way, is harmless enough.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In short, because I've retired, I'm now being treated as if I'm two sandwiches short of a picnic.’
      • ‘No surprise, really - Harry has been a failure all his life, not to mention two sandwiches short of a picnic.’
  • 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 is then that the good humour of these protests brings you up short.’
      • ‘That is an indisputably Shiite name, which brought me up short.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The jump in reasoning brought me up short, and normally I would have leaped on him for it, and the conversation would have ended.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But this provides a tableau of human tragedy which brought me up short when I realised what had happened.’
      • ‘It was the fact that student was Aboriginal that pulled me up short.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The power of the word froze Cordelia, while Joyce was brought up short by confusion.’
      • ‘It was, however, a chance remark in Cardiff that 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I didn't feel Turkey were better than Japan but we just came up a bit short.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each possesses speed and power, and each came up short with his original organization.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Coach Andy Reid has taken them to the past three NFC title games but has come up short each time.’
      • ‘Failing to do so, a church ‘will both fail to develop its people and come short of a world opportunity.’’
      • ‘Sin is falling short of the standard set by God: ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God’.’
      • ‘So, to be honest, it really doesn't matter to me that they came up short this time.’
      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.’
      • ‘Yes I am a pedantic conspiracy theorist, or jaded old cynic for short.’
      • ‘I think I'll just call it something like Broomhilda's broom or broomy 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.’
      • ‘Weblogs, or blogs for short, are a cross between a diary, a web site, and an online community.’
      • ‘The recommended way of doing this in general is with Cascading Style Sheets - css for short.’
      • ‘With neat transatlantic symmetry, it is known as the Press Association, PA for short.’
      • ‘We could call the journey the Yorkston Acoustic Movement or YAM for short.’
      • ‘We won't ask you to try and pronounce her name as she is called Gosha 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’
      • ‘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!’’
      • ‘. 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.’
      • ‘I tell you this… the only time we matter to those scum is when we have them by the short hairs.’
      • ‘They think they have me by the short and curlies, but I shaved everything.’
      • ‘Unfortunately we have no options - Telkom has got us by the short and curlies because they have got the monopoly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Fate's really got me by the short and curlies this time.’
      • ‘We should know if the US has us by the short and curlies.’
  • go short

    • Not have enough of something, especially food.

      ‘you won't go short when I die’
      • ‘So far as I have been able to verify, none of his pet projects went short while he was sick.’
      • ‘When I was growing up we had to watch money closely, though we never went short of essentials.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For a hard pressed working class couple it could mean an unpaid gas bill or going short of food.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It wasn't too long before they started up again, with a different kind of balance (and everyone went short on everything).’
      • ‘Luckily we've got lots of good friends, so Jack's certainly not going short of outfits, toys or equipment.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘In short, the quality of your trip depends largely on proper planning for the unexpected.’
      • ‘In short we are playing catch-up, as we have so often in the past.’
      • ‘In short, those twin categories must be thought of as indicative, and not absolute, for analytical purposes.’
      • ‘It has, in short, become impossible to ignore the fact that obesity is a class issue.’
      • ‘In short, religion, regarded as an explanation of nature, is displaced by science.’
      • ‘In short, therefore, a change of circumstances may lead to a revised determination of benefit payable.’
      • ‘In short, the quality of the rifles did not match the performance and expense of the ammunition.’
      • ‘In short, a quality of life that the profit-first motive can't and won't deliver.’
      • ‘In short the party of change must now show itself flexible enough to change its own central strategy.’
      • ‘In short, this bill allows the Attorney-General to appoint an almost infinite number of judges.’
      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.’
      • ‘Articulate, meticulous, and a very quick study, he makes himself indispensable in short order.’
      • ‘They even had padded seats, which I'm pretty sure would get destroyed in short order in New York.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the weekend, federal officials said there could be tens of thousands of troops in New Orleans 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.’
      • ‘Incredibly you have another killer storm on your hands in short order.’
      • ‘The bloggers will, in short order, make the current media structure irrelevant.’
      • ‘I would certainly lose my clearance, my job, and my career, in short order.’
      • ‘Moore turns up at the bank and is shown getting a rifle 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The solutions may cost money in the short run but will save it in the long term.’
      • ‘Because the US dollar is the international reserve currency, the Americans can get away with a big deficit in the short run.’
      • ‘And it's very hard to see that improvement is going to come 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.’
      • ‘Leaving money on deposit is safer in the short run.’
  • 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’
      • ‘Recently relaunched, the car's performance on bumpy roads is little short of astonishing.’
      • ‘To lose this development would be nothing short of catastrophic for the economic life of the town.’
      • ‘These figures are nothing short of staggering and should serve as a wake-up call.’
      • ‘However, the real turning point arrived four minutes into the third quarter and was nothing short of bizarre.’
      • ‘Mental, crushing, and amazing all in equal doses, the mix is nothing short of perfect.’
      • ‘Indeed, once the first autumn flood eventually came, the sport was nothing short of fantastic in places.’
      • ‘Two years ago I woke up on a day so sunny and gorgeous, it was nothing short of surreal.’
      • ‘The train journey down to Reading on Thursday evening was nothing short of miraculous.’
      • ‘This was served with a creamy garlic purée, which was nothing short of sinfully good.’
      • ‘I feel passionately that if the National Trust split this particular farm it is nothing short of criminal.’
  • make short work of

    • Accomplish, consume, or destroy quickly.

      ‘we made short work of our huge portions’
      • ‘The Japanese are making short work of U.S. encrypted military transmissions, slowing American progress to win the war.’
      • ‘We were making short work of the alcohol on offer, so Gin & Tonic was bought into the mix.’
      • ‘But the real world makes short work of John Waynes.’
      • ‘And he makes short work of his fish food, let me tell you.’
      • ‘The task was accomplished though, and U.S. forces made short work of what was until then the world's 5th largest army.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A knobby, trail-runner-type outsole makes short work of Atlantic City sludge.’
      • ‘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!’
  • 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.

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

    • Fail to recognize or state the true value of.

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

    • Brief but pleasant or relevant.

      ‘his comments were short and sweet’
      • ‘I won't go further than that, and I'll keep it short and sweet.’
      • ‘I am going to keep this short and sweet, but here goes.’
      • ‘Oh, and it's short and sweet and will fit nicely on signs.’
      • ‘Alas, Rowe beat me to it, so I'll keep this short and sweet.’
      • ‘‘No point in boring the crowd, keep it short and sweet,’ says Tim.’
      • ‘Thanks to mother nature it shall be short and sweet.’
      • ‘It's short and sweet so see what you think anyway.’
      • ‘‘Well that was short and sweet,’ Deed commented on Merkaydi's answer.’
      • ‘Make it short and sweet, meaning no ten page essays.’
      • ‘Martin Scorsese is a true film buff and knows to keep his comments short and sweet when dealing with The Golden Coach.’
      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.

      • ‘So if you ignore it, you end up, you know, getting the short end of the stick.’
      • ‘Some thought that boys got the short end of the stick and that their female teachers favored girls.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, Exodus always seemed to be getting the short end of the stick.’
      • ‘The Republicans certainly did come out with the short end of the stick, although not dramatically.’
  • short for

    • An abbreviation or nickname for.

      ‘I'm Robbie—short for Roberta’
      • ‘Gerald is short for Geraldine, because even in this story it would be too cruel to name a girl Gerald.’
      • ‘Bill, short for Wilhelmina, was secretary to Vita Sackville-West, and dressed in men's suits.’
      • ‘Fish is short for Vishnevski, a generic Eastern European name that is intended to provide a broad hint about his Jewish roots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think I've chosen the name Thena for her, short for Athena, Greek Goddess of War.’
      • ‘PfA, short for People For Animals, cares for and rehabilitates injured animals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've decided on the name for my other fish; his name will be Storm, short for Johnny Storm.’
  • short of

    • 1Less than.

      ‘he died at sixty-one, four years short of his pensionable age’
      • ‘But running Mobile Mark resulted in a battery life just four minutes short of three hours.’
      • ‘Larsson will be still four months short of his 33rd birthday when his current deal ends.’
      • ‘All this from a club that has been provisional liquidation for only four weeks short of two years.’
      • ‘They were four players short of the team that had won the Munster crown but the replacements were also top class.’
      • ‘The babies were only 30 weeks, a crucial four weeks short of the hoped-for delivery.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alan Knott remembers it with some bitterness as he was stranded on 96 not out, four runs short of a maiden test century.’
      • ‘He fell four points short of his career high of 56 set in a loss at Toronto on March 20.’
      • ‘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’
        • ‘She had to abandon her singles effort when she fell short of the main draw.’
        • ‘The Port defence stood solid when Tullamore took on two short penalties only to be stopped short of the line.’
        • ‘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 long-awaited Asterix falls far short of the mark, it's not half as clever and funny as all the rest.’
        • ‘Besides that, a creek crosses the fairway short of the green and sees its share of misery.’
        • ‘He proceeded to take four shots from just short of the green, to lose woefully.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘It stands on a short glazed foot rim and base rising to an everted c-shaped glazed body stopping short of the rim.’
        • ‘She backed up and sped down the driveway and stopped just inches short of the closed gate.’
      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’
        • ‘But short of tearing up the city and starting again, there is no comprehensive fix at hand.’
        • ‘Accept that there will be no solution to Muslim extremism short of a settlement for Palestine.’
        • ‘It is perfectly clear that short of a major wave of renewed religiosity, such a return is inconceivable.’
        • ‘Covers are probably the safest thing you can do in the music industry, short of debuting the song at Princess Di's funeral.’
        • ‘I don't know if Arthur Lee is in the house, but short of that, can you be the one to help our friend?’
        • ‘If you're good friends with people throwing the kegger, you have no excuse not to go short of a wedding or funeral.’
        • ‘And short of calling in the Office of Cyberspace Security, there is little we can do.’
        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
        View synonyms
  • short of breath

    • Panting; short-winded.

      ‘they become short of breath on very slight exertion’
      • ‘This makes them appear pale, and they may become abnormally tired and short of breath while playing.’
      • ‘Laughing until she's short of breath, her panting pleas for release are finally granted.’
      • ‘Usually I could only run a very short distance before getting too exhausted and short of breath to continue.’
      • ‘For the first time in over four months he could breathe without feeling short of breath.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I remember breathing very quickly and becoming short of breath.’
      • ‘Many women find that they need to slow down their pace of exercise during pregnancy when they are short of breath or tired.’
      • ‘If you have asthma, and you inhale the airborne pollen, you may start coughing, wheezing, and be short of breath.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • 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 looked like she might have a hangover, but she stopped short at the sight of Faith.’
      • ‘She stopped short at the sight of Tyler and a smile spread across her lips.’
  • stop short of

    • Not go as far as (some extreme action)

      ‘the measures stopped short of establishing direct trade links’
      • ‘The company's art directors have always stopped short of what they see as blatant titillation.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He stopped short of actually defending high fuel taxes on environmental grounds, but the link has been made.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the Christie measures stop short of clamping cars whose drivers exceed parking time they have paid for, or who fail to pay.’
      • ‘I'm hoping for the US to stop short of that, but it's going to be pretty difficult.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.