- 1measuring 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 time
- 3 lasting or taking a small amount of time or less time than usual I'm going to Puerto Rico 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 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 quarterback 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 centimeters short of the world record. The team was two 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 FTPfor short rude
- 11[not before noun] short (with somebody) (of a person) speaking to someone 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
- noun [uncountable] She suffered from shortness of breath.Idioms
adjectivejump to other results
shortnessjump to other results
to be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to perform an unpleasant duty or task I got the short end of the stick and had to clean the toilets.
get the short end of the stickjump to other results
to give somebody/get little attention or sympathy
give somebody/something/get short shriftjump to other results
to have a tendency to get angry quickly and easily You may find your temper on a short fuse when confronting your teenager.
have/be on a short fusejump to other results
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. see also long-term, medium-term, short-term
in the long/short/medium termjump to other results
quickly and without trouble
in short orderjump to other results
concerning the immediate future In the short run, unemployment may fall.
in the short runjump to other results
not existing in large enough quantities to satisfy demand Basic foodstuffs were in short supply. Sunshine will be in short supply for most of New England.
in short supplyjump to other results
used to say that it is not worth wasting time doing something that you dislike or that is not important
life's too short (informal)jump to other results
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.
little/nothing short of somethingjump to other results
used when you are telling someone the essential facts about something or what effect it will have, without explaining all the details
the long and (the) short of itjump to other results
to defeat or deal with something or someone quickly Our team made short work of the opposition (= in a sports competition). The kids made short work of the birthday cake (= ate it quickly).
make short work of something/somebodyjump to other results
not long in advance; without warning or time for preparation This was the best room we could get on such short notice. You must be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
on short notice, at a moment's noticejump to other results
pleasant but not lasting a long time We don't have much time so I'll keep it short and sweet.
short and sweet (informal)jump to other results
used when you are saying that you will get to the point of what you are saying quickly, without including all the details To make a long story short, we didn't get home until 3 in the morning!
to make a long story short (informal)jump to other results