from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having little length; not long.
  • adjective Having little height; not tall.
  • adjective Extending or traveling not far or not far enough.
  • adjective Lasting a brief time.
  • adjective Appearing to pass quickly.
  • adjective Not lengthy; succinct.
  • adjective Rudely brief; abrupt.
  • adjective Easily provoked; irascible.
  • adjective Inadequate; insufficient.
  • adjective Lacking in length or amount.
  • adjective Lacking in breadth or scope.
  • adjective Deficient in retentiveness.
  • adjective Holding a trading position that is inversely related to the price of a security or index.
  • adjective Of or relating to a short sale.
  • adjective Containing a large amount of shortening; flaky.
  • adjective Not ductile; brittle.
  • adjective Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a speech sound of relatively brief duration, as the first vowel sound in the Latin word mălus, “evil,” as compared with the same or a similar sound of relatively long duration, as the first vowel sound in the Latin word mālus, “apple tree.”
  • adjective Grammar Of, relating to, or being a vowel sound in English, such as the vowel sound (ă) in pat or (oo͝) in put, that is descended from a vowel of brief duration.
  • adjective Being of relatively brief duration. Used of a syllable in quantitative prosody.
  • adjective Slang Close to the end of a tour of military duty.
  • adverb Abruptly; quickly.
  • adverb In a rude or curt manner.
  • adverb At a point before a given boundary, limit, or goal.
  • adverb At a disadvantage.
  • adverb By means of a short sale.
  • noun Something short, as.
  • noun Linguistics A short syllable, vowel, or consonant.
  • noun A brief film; a short subject.
  • noun A size of clothing less long than the average for that size.
  • noun Short trousers extending to the knee or above.
  • noun Men's undershorts.
  • noun A short sale.
  • noun One that sells short.
  • noun A byproduct of wheat processing that consists of germ, bran, and coarse meal or flour.
  • noun Clippings or trimmings that remain as byproducts in various manufacturing processes, often used to make an inferior variety of the product.
  • noun A short circuit.
  • noun A malfunction caused by a short circuit.
  • noun Baseball A shortstop.
  • intransitive verb To cause a short circuit in.
  • intransitive verb Informal To give (one) less than one is entitled to; shortchange.
  • intransitive verb To short-sell (a security or index).
  • intransitive verb To short-circuit.
  • idiom (for short) As an abbreviation.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English sceort, scort; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English short, schort, from Old English sċeort, scort ("short"), from Proto-Germanic *skurtaz (“short”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)k(ʷ)Art-, *(s)k(ʷ)Ard- (“short”). Cognate with Scots short, schort ("short"), Old High German scurz (Middle High German schurz, "short"), Old Norse skorta (Danish skorte, "to lack"), Albanian shkurt ("short, brief"), Latin curtus ("shortened, incomplete"). More at shirt.


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