short1 W1S1 [ʃo:t US ʃo:rt] adj comparative shorter superlative shortest
3¦(not tall)¦
5¦(not enough)¦
6 be short on something
7¦(less than)¦
8 short notice
9 in the short term/run
10 have a short memory
11 be short for something
12 be short of breath
13 be short with somebody
14 have a short temper/fuse
15 get/be given short shrift
16 be nothing/little short of something
17 draw/get the short straw
18 make short work of (doing) something
19 have/get somebody by the short and curlies
20 be one ... short of a ...
21 short time
22 in short order
23 give somebody short measure
[: Old English; Origin: scort]
1.) ¦(TIME)¦
happening or continuing for only a little time or for less time than usual
≠ ↑long
a short meeting
Morris gave a short laugh.
a short course on business English
Winter is coming and the days are getting shorter.
I've only been in Brisbane a short time .
For a short while (=a short time) , the city functioned as the region's capital.
I learned a lot during my short period as a junior reporter.
Germany achieved spectacular economic success in a relatively short period of time .
They met and married within a short space of time .
I promise to keep the meeting short and sweet (=short in a way that is good, especially not talking for a long time) .
For a few short weeks (=they seemed to pass very quickly) the sun shone and the fields turned gold.
measuring a small amount in length or distance
≠ ↑long
a short skirt
Anita had her hair cut short.
They went by the shortest route, across the fields.
Carol's office was only a short distance away, and she decided that she would walk there.
a short walk/flight/drive
It's a short drive to the airport.
The hotel is only a short walk from the beach.
3.) ¦(NOT TALL)¦
someone who is short is not as tall as most people
≠ ↑tall
a short plump woman
Chris was short and stocky, with broad shoulders.
He's a bit shorter than me.
a book, letter etc that is short does not have many words or pages
≠ ↑long
a short novel
I wrote a short note to explain.
5.) ¦(NOT ENOUGH)¦
a) if you are short of something, you do not have enough of it
be short (of sth)
Can you lend me a couple of dollars? I'm a little short.
be short of money/cash/funds
Our libraries are short of funds.
be 5p/$10 etc short
Have you all paid me? I'm about £9 short.
I'm a bit short
BrE spoken (=I haven't got much money at the moment)
sb is not short of sth
BrE (=they have a lot of it)
Your little girl's not short of confidence, is she?
They're not short of a few bob (=they are rich) .
b) if something is short, there is not enough of it
Money was short in those days.
It's going to be difficult - time is short.
Gasoline was in short supply (=not enough of it was available) after the war.
6.) be short on sth
to have less of something than you should have
He's a nice guy, but a little short on brains.
The President's speech was long on colorful phrases but short on solutions.
7.) ¦(LESS THAN)¦
a little less than a number
short of
Her time was only 2 seconds short of the world record.
just/a little short of sth
She was just short of six feet tall.
8.) short notice
if something is short notice, you are told about it only a short time before it happens
I can't make it Friday. It's very short notice .
at short notice
BrE on short notice AmE
The party was arranged at short notice.
9.) in the short term/run
during the period of time that is not very far into the future
These measures may save money in the short term, but we'll end up spending more later.
10.) have a short memory
if someone has a short memory, they soon forget something that has happened
Voters have very short memories.
11.) be short for sth
to be a shorter way of saying a name
Her name is Alex, short for Alexandra.
12.) be short of breath
to be unable to breathe easily, especially because you are unhealthy
He couldn't walk far without getting short of breath.
13.) be short with sb
to speak to someone using very few words, in a way that seems rude or unfriendly
Sorry I was short with you on the phone this morning.
14.) have a short temper/fuse
to get angry very easily
Mr Yanto, who had a very short fuse, told her to get out.
15.) get/be given short shrift
if you or your idea, suggestion etc is given short shrift, you are told immediately that you are wrong and are not given any attention or sympathy
McLaren got short shrift from all the record companies when he first presented his new band to them in 1976.
16.) be nothing/little short of sth
used to emphasize that something is very good, very surprising etc
Her recovery seemed nothing short of a miracle.
The results are little short of astonishing.
17.) draw/get the short straw
to be given something difficult or unpleasant to do, especially when other people have been given something better
Giles drew the short straw, and has to give us a talk this morning.
18.) make short work of (doing) sth
to finish something quickly and easily, especially food or a job
The kids made short work of the sandwiches.
Computers can make short work of complex calculations.
19.) have/get sb by the short and curlies also have/get sb by the short hairs
BrE informal not polite to put someone in a situation in which they are forced to do or accept what you want
I signed the contract - they've got me by the short and curlies.
20.) be one ... short of a ...
spoken used humorously to say that someone is a little crazy or stupid
Lady, are you a few aces short of a deck?
He's one sandwich short of a picnic .
21.) short time
BrE when workers work for fewer hours than usual, because the company cannot afford to pay them their full wage
Most of the workers were put on short time .
22.) in short order
formal in a short time and without delay
23.) give sb short measure
BrE old-fashioned to give someone less than the correct amount of something, especially in a shop
24.) ¦(SOUND)¦
technical a short vowel is pronounced quickly without being emphasized, for example the sound of a in 'cat', e in 'bet', and i in 'bit'
≠ ↑long
>shortness n [U]
He was suffering from shortness of breath.
Shirley was very conscious of her shortness and always wore high heels.
life's too short atlife
speech/piece of writing: brief, concise, condensed, abridged
person: not very tall, little, tiny, petite
time/event: brief, quick, momentary, fleeting, ephemeral, transient, passing, short-lived
legs/fingers: stumpy, stubby
clothes: skimpy
short 2
short2 adv
1.) fall short of sth
to be less than what you need, expected, or hoped for, or to fail to reach a satisfactory standard
The Republicans increased their share of the vote, but still fell short of a majority.
Shares in the company dropped 26p yesterday, as profits fell short of City expectations .
fall short of a goal/target/ideal
The economy fell short of the Treasury's target of 2% growth.
fall far/a long way/well short of sth
Facilities in these schools fall far short of the standards required.
One or two songs on the album are interesting, but most fall short of the mark (=are not good enough) .
2.) be running short (of/on sth)
if you are running short of something, or if something is running short, it is being used up and there will soon not be enough left
We're running short of coffee again.
Our supplies of petrol were running short.
Come on, time's running short !
3.) stop short of doing sth
to almost do something but then decide not to do it
They accused the President of incompetence, but stopped short of calling for his resignation.
4.) stop short
to suddenly stop speaking or stop what you are doing, because something has surprised you or you have just thought of something
Seeing her tears, he stopped short.
5.) be cut short
if something is cut short, it is stopped before you expect or before it is finished
His career was tragically cut short when, at the age of 42, he died of a heart attack.
6.) cut sb short
to interrupt and stop someone when they are speaking
I was halfway through my explanation when Walter cut me short.
7.) pull/bring sb up short
to surprise or shock someone so that they stop what they are doing or saying to think for a moment
The question brought her up short, but after a moment's hesitation, she answered it.
8.) 3 metres/5 miles etc short of sth
without reaching a place you are trying to get to, because you are still a particular distance from it
The plane touched down 200 metres short of the runway.
9.) two weeks/a month etc short of sth
two weeks, a month etc before something
He died two days short of his fifty-sixth birthday.
10.) short of (doing) sth
without actually doing something
Short of locking her in her room, he couldn't really stop her from seeing Jack.
11.) come up short
to fail to win or achieve something
We've been to the state tournament four times, but we've come up short every time.
12.) go short (of sth)
BrE to have less of something than you need
She made sure that her children never went short.
13.) be taken short/be caught short
BrE informal to have a sudden strong need to go to the toilet when you are not near one
short 3
short3 n
1.) shorts [plural]
a) short trousers ending at or above the knees
a pair of shorts
tourists in shorts and T-shirts
b) especially AmE men's underwear with short legs
Craig was standing in the kitchen in his shorts.
2.) in short
used when you want to give the main point of something
Carter hoped for greater trust between the two nations, more trade, more cultural exchanges - in short, a genuine peace.
3.) for short
used as a shorter way of saying a name
His name's Maximilian, but we just call him Max for short.
4.) informal
a short film shown in the cinema
5.) BrE informal a strong alcoholic drink that is not beer or wine, drunk in a small glass
American Equivalent: shot
Do you fancy a short? A whisky or a vodka?
6.) informal
a short in the system
the long and the short of it atlong1 (10)
short 4
short4 v [I and T] also short out
to ↑short-circuit, or make something do this
The toaster shorted and caused a fire.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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