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

  • intransitive verb To cause to have a short circuit.
  • intransitive verb Informal To hamper the progress of; impede.
  • intransitive verb To bypass.
  • intransitive verb To become affected with a short circuit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To complete an electric circuit by a conductor of low resistance; introduce a shunt of low resistance.
  • In electricity, to establish a short circuit in.
  • In surgery, to form a communication between two portions of intestine above and below an obstruction, so that the contents may pass along.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (Elec.) To join, as the electrodes of a battery or dynamo or any two points of a circuit, by a conductor of low resistance.

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

  • verb Alternative spelling of short circuit.

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

  • verb hamper the progress of; impede
  • verb create a short circuit in
  • verb avoid something unpleasant or laborious


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Undo the habits in any way: mess with them; short-circuit, distract, immobilize their predictability; mobilize their strength; and utilize their potential for change.

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  • The Woonsocket, R.I., company's move highlights the friction over so-called "co-pay cards" from drug makers that can short-circuit incentives used by health plans to encourage less expensive medications.

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  • Some economists fear that housing woes could short-circuit the nascent recovery in jobs.

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  • This will help stabilize international exchange rates, resolve the ongoing cycles of global financial crises and investment bubbles, short-circuit the run-up in gas and food prices, and unlock the frozen credit system.

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  • But this powerful technique also works to short-circuit food cravings.

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  • The Justice Department, which is defending the law, opposed Mr. Cuccinelli's request, arguing in a written brief that there was no need to short-circuit the normal appeals process.

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  • He seems to short-circuit—both happy that it worked and sad that our plan is still alive.

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  • The mess also threatens to short-circuit Mr. Weiner's national profile.

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  • "It looks like operator error caused a short-circuit on a heavily loaded line," said Michael Niggli, president of San Diego Gas & Electric.

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