1measuring a small distance from end to end:short dark haira short flight of stepsthe bed was too short for him
(of a journey) covering a small distance:the hotel is a short walk from the sea
(of a garment or sleeves on a garment) only covering the top part of a person’s arms or legs:a short skirt
(of a person) small in height:he is short and tubby
(of a ball in cricket, a shot in tennis, etc.) travelling only a small distance before bouncing:he uses his opportunities to attack every short ball
Cricket denoting fielding positions relatively close to the batsman:short midwicket
2lasting or taking a small amount of time:visiting London for a short breaka short conversation
[attributive] seeming to last less time than is the case; passing quickly:in 10 short years all this changed
(of a person’s memory) retaining things for only a small amount of time:he has a short memory for past misdeeds
Stock Exchange (of stocks or other securities or commodities) sold in advance of being acquired, with reliance on the price falling so that a profit can be made.
Stock Exchange (of a broker, position in the market, etc.) buying or based on short stocks or other securities or commodities.
denoting or having a relatively early date for the maturing of a bill of exchange.
3relatively small in extent:a short speechhe wrote a short book
(short of/on) not having enough of (something); lacking or deficient in:they were very short of provisionsI know you’re short on cash
[predic.] in insufficient supply:food is short
4 Phonetics (of a vowel) categorized as short with regard to quality and length (e.g. in standard British English the vowel /ʊ/ in good is short as distinct from the long vowel /uː/ in food).
Prosody (of a vowel or syllable) having the lesser of the two recognized durations.
5 [predic.] (of a person) terse; uncivil:he was often sharp and rather short with her
6(of odds or a chance) reflecting or representing a high level of probability:they have been backed at short odds to win thousands of pounds
7(of pastry) containing a high proportion of fat to flour and therefore crumbly.
(of clay) having poor plasticity.
(chiefly in sport) at, to, or over a relatively small distance:you go deep and you go short
not as far as the point aimed at; not far enough:all too often you pitch the ball short
1British a drink of spirits served in a small measure.
2a short film as opposed to a feature film.
3a short sound such as a short signal in Morse code or a short vowel or syllable:her call was two longs and a short
4a short circuit.
5 Stock Exchange a person who sells short.
(shorts) Stock Exchange short-dated stocks.
6 (shorts) a mixture of bran and coarse flour.
1short-circuit or cause to short-circuit: [no object]:the electrical circuit had shorted out [with object]:if the contact terminals are shorted, the battery quickly overheats
2 [with object] Stock Exchange sell (stocks or other securities or commodities) in advance of acquiring them, with the aim of making a profit when the price falls:the rule prevents sellers from shorting a stock unless the last trade resulted in a price increase
be caught (or Britishtaken) short
be put at a disadvantage:he encouraged young people to build up a range of skills so they are not caught short when employment ends suddenly
British informal urgently need to urinate or defecate:those caught short in the store will have to pay £1 to use the toilets
a brick short of a load (or two sandwiches short of a picnic, etc.)
informal (of a person) stupid or slightly mad:she’s two bricks short of a load
bring (or pull) someone up short
make someone check or pause abruptly:he was entering the office when he was brought up short by the sight of John
fail to reach a goal or standard:we’re so close to getting the job done, but we keep coming up short
South African get into trouble:if you try to trick him you’ll come short
as an abbreviation or nickname:the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short
get (or have) someone by the short and curlies (or short hairs)
informal have complete control of a person:they had you by your short and curlies the minute they got you into that uniform
[from military slang, referring to pubic hair]
not have enough of something, especially food:you won’t go short when I die
to sum up; briefly:we hope, in short, to bring theory and practice together in each session
in short order
chiefly North American immediately; rapidly:after the killing the camp had been shut down in short order
in the short run (or term)
in the near future:they will increase output in the short runin the short term some sacrifices may be made
little (or nothing) short of
almost (or equal to); little (or nothing) less than:he regarded the cost of living as little short of scandalous
make short work of
accomplish, consume, or destroy quickly:we made short work of our huge portions
Stock Exchange sell stock or other securities or commodities which one does not own at the time, in the hope of buying at a lower price before the delivery time.
sell someone/thing short
fail to recognize or state the true value of:don’t sell yourself short—you’ve got what it takes
short and sweet
brief but pleasant or relevant:his comments were short and sweet
the short end of the stick
North American an outcome in which one has less advantage than others.
an abbreviation or nickname for:I’m Robbie—short for Roberta
less than:he died at sixty-one, four years short of his pensionable age
not reaching as far as:a rocket failure left a satellite tumbling in an orbit far short of its proper position
without going so far as (some extreme action):short of putting out an all-persons alert, there’s little else we can do
short of breath
panting; short-winded:they become short of breath on very slight exertion