- 1 measuring or covering a small length or distance, or a smaller length or distance than usual He had short curly hair. a short walk a short skirt opposite long height
- 2 (of a person) small in height She was short and dumpy. opposite tall See related entries: Body shape time
- 3 lasting or taking a small amount of time or less time than usual I'm going to France for a short break. Which is the shortest day of the year? a short book (= taking a short time to read, because it does not have many pages) She has a very short memory (= remembers only things that have happened recently). (informal) Life's too short to sit around moping. It was all over in a relatively short space of time. opposite long
- 4[only before noun] (of a period of time) seeming to have passed very quickly Just two short years ago he was the best player in the country. opposite long not enough
- 5 [not before noun] short (of something) not having enough of something; lacking something I'm afraid I'm a little short (= of money) this month. She is not short of excuses when things go wrong.
- 6short on something (informal) lacking or not having enough of a particular quality He was a big strapping guy but short on brains.
- 7 [not before noun] not easily available; not supplying as much as you need Money was short at that time.
- 8[not before noun] short (of something) less than the number, amount or distance mentioned or needed Her last throw was only three centimetres short of the world record. The team was five players short. She was just short of her 90th birthday when she died. of breath
- 9short of breath having difficulty breathing, for example because of illness a fat man, always short of breath name/word
- 10short for something being a shorter form of a name or word Call me Jo—it's short for Joanna. file transfer protocol or FTP for short rude
- 11[not before noun] short (with somebody) (of a person) speaking to somebody using few words in a way that seems rude I'm sorry I was short with you earlier—I had other things on my mind. vowel
- 12 (phonetics) a short vowel is pronounced for a shorter time than other vowels Compare the short vowel in ‘full’ and the long vowel in ‘fool’. opposite long see also shortly Word Origin Old English sceort, of Germanic origin; related to shirt and skirt.Extra examples His performance was woefully short of conviction. If space is really short, that door can be moved. It was all over in a relatively short space of time. Mike was a bit short of cash just then. Our team was one player short. Safe drinking water is in desperately short supply. Sorry I was a bit short with you earlier. The days are getting shorter and shorter. The interview was mercifully short. The working week is getting shorter and shorter. United looked woefully short of menace in attack. We’re getting short of funds. a relatively short distance of 50 to 100 miles a young woman whose life was cut tragically short Call me Jo—it’s short for Joanna. He felt his time was running short. He was a short, fat little man. He was too short to be admitted into the army. I’m going to France next week for a short break. I’m slightly shorter than you. I’ve only read the shorter version of the report. It’s quite a short book. Just two short years ago he was the best player in the country. Life’s too short to sit around moping. Money was pretty short at that time. She has a very short memory. Sheila waved her short stubby arms in the air. The little boy ran as fast as his short legs could carry him. The short answer to your query is that he has acted completely illegally. Try to keep your sentences short. What did he look like? Was he dark or fair? Tall or short? When food was short they used to pick berries in the woods. file transfer protocol or FTP for shortIdioms not long in advance; without warning or time for preparation This was the best room we could get at such short notice. You must be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
(informal) (of a person) stupid; not very intelligent the whole of something or less of something than you expect or should have We experienced the full measure of their hospitality. The concert only lasted an hour, so we felt we were getting short measure.
to be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to perform an unpleasant duty or task to give somebody/get little attention or sympathy to have a tendency to get angry quickly and easily You may find your temper on a short fuse when confronting your teenager. See related entries: Anger used to describe what will happen a long, short, etc. time in the future Such a development seems unlikely, at least in the short term (= it will not happen for quite a long time). In the longer term, children of depressed mothers are more likely to suffer from childhood depression. quickly and without trouble concerning the immediate future In the short run, unemployment may fall. not existing in large enough quantities to satisfy demand Basic foodstuffs were in short supply. Sunshine will be in short supply for the west coast. (informal) used to say that it is not worth wasting time doing something that you dislike or that is not important used when you are saying that something is almost true, or is equal to something Last year's figures were little short of disastrous. The transformation has been nothing short of a miracle. to defeat, deal with something/somebody quickly Liverpool made short work of the opposition (= in a football/ soccer game). He made short work of his lunch (= ate it quickly). (informal) pleasant but not lasting a long time We haven't much time so I'll keep it short and sweet. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet. (British English, informal) (of a person) very stupid More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/a March hare, (as) miserable/ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet.
(informal) used when you are saying that you will get to the point of what you are saying quickly, without including all the details To cut a long story short, we didn’t get home until 3 in the morning!