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

  • adjective Breathing with quick labored breaths.
  • adjective Likely to have difficulty in breathing, especially from exertion.
  • adjective Brief and succinct.
  • adjective Choppy; disconnected.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Breathing with difficulty; dyspnœic.
  • Unable to bear long-continued violent exertion, as running, without difficulty of breathing; out of breath.
  • Panting; characterized by difficulty of breathing.

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

  • adjective Affected with shortness of breath; having a quick, difficult respiration, as dyspnoic and asthmatic persons.

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

  • adjective out of breath, gasping for air, breathing rapidly; or given to easily becoming so.
  • adjective Concise and to the point (opposite of long-winded).

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

  • adjective breathing laboriously or convulsively


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The Roundtable is fun to participate in and you can be as long or short-winded as you like.

    The DVD Trash Roundtable 2009

  • His last valet was a big, foundered, short-winded fellow of fifty-five, who was incapable of running twenty paces; but, as he had been born at Bayonne, M. Gillenormand called him

    Les Miserables 2008

  • In tertian fever, the morbific cause seeking the heart in the first instance, and hanging about the heart and lungs, renders the patient short-winded, disposed to sighing, and indisposed to exertion, because the vital principle is oppressed and the blood forced into the lungs and rendered thick.

    On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals 2005

  • [Reads] ‘I will imitate the honourable Romans in brevity:’ he sure means brevity in breath, short-winded.

    The second part of King Henry the Fourth 2004

  • The brewer was large, raw-boned, and round as a butt of beer, but very fat, unwieldy, short-winded, and phlegmatic.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves 2004

  • It has ended as would end the experiment of a man seeking to raise a breed of winning race-horses out of unexercised, short-winded, knock-kneed mares.

    Woman and Labour 2003

  • No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

    The Great Gatsby 2003

  • The friends stopped again -- poor, short-winded bodies -- on the crest of the low hill and turned to look at the wide landscape, bewildered by the marvelous beauty and the sudden flood of golden sunset light that poured out of the western sky.

    In Dark New England Days 1996

  • Her eyes went round, and she spoke in a rapid, short-winded, staccato voice.

    Best Kept Secrets Brown, Sandra, 1948- 1989

  • The Fat Boy, a rotund, short-winded little fellow, better dressed than the others although his shoes were not matching.

    Stan the Killer Simenon, Georges 1977


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