Definition of short circuit in English:

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short circuit


An electrical circuit in a device of lower resistance than that of a normal circuit, especially one resulting from the unintended contact of components and consequent accidental diversion of the current: an office block had been set on fire by an electrical short circuit
More example sentences
  • You can create closed loops and boxes without short circuits by using dead connectors.
  • The balloon deflated over the wires resulting in a short circuit to the electricity supply.
  • The hardware has been redesigned to prevent damage caused by short circuits or power surges.


1 (short-circuit) (With reference to an electrical device) malfunction or fail, or cause to do this, as a result of a short circuit: [no object]: the birds caused the electricity supply to short-circuit [with object]: water had leaked into the washing machine’s motor, short-circuiting it
More example sentences
  • Mulch could also cause power lines to short-circuit and temporarily paralyse the rail network.
  • The electrical systems on the walls started to short-circuit before exploding in a chain reaction.
  • One reason fire ants are so troublesome is that they commonly short-circuit electrical equipment of all kinds.
1.1 [with object] Shorten (a process or activity) by using a more direct (but often improper) method: the normal processes of a democracy should not be short-circuited
More example sentences
  • They want to short-circuit a selection process, and I can kind of understand why.
  • We need to know how to short-circuit this process and do the right thing.
  • In these ways, herbivory short-circuits the decomposition process and speeds rates of nutrient cycling.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: short cir|cuit

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