Definitions

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

  • noun Summary, careless treatment; scant attention.
  • noun Quick work.
  • noun A short respite, as from death.
  • noun The brief time before execution granted a condemned prisoner for confession and absolution.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun informal A quick rejection, especially one which is impolite and undertaken without proper consideration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a brief and unsympathetic rejection

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally, a rushed sacrament of confession (shrift) given to a prisoner who was to be executed very soon.

Examples

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