short - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    measuring a small height, length, or distance

    She’s short and slim, with light brown hair and blue eyes.

    You’ll need three short boards for the shelves.

    The theatre is a relatively short distance from here.

    1. a.
      not long enough, or not tall enough

      The fence posts are all six inches short.

      The sleeves are much too short.

  2. 2
    a period of time that is short does not last very long or seems to pass quickly
    a short while:

    He was here for a short while last week.

    a short period/spell:

    After a short period living in London, she moved back to Glasgow.

    a short stay:

    I’m sorry this has been such a short stay.

    a few short hours/days/weeks:

    In a few short weeks he’ll be going back to school.

  3. 3
    expressed in few words, or containing few pages

    Could you give us a short summary of what happened?

    a short article/book/poem:

    It was a short book and she read it in one night.

  4. 4
    using fewer words or letters than the full form of something
    short for:

    Memo is short for memorandum.

    for short:

    My name is Elizabeth, or Liz for short.

     Synonyms and related words
     Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    used for saying that you do not have enough of something

    Have you got any change on you? I’m £20 short (=I have £20 less than I need).

    We’re one waitress short tonight, so everyone will have to work harder.

    short on:

    He’s very bright but a little short on personality.

    short of:

    They were three short of a majority, so the vote wasn’t passed.

    short of money/food/clothing:

    Many of our clients are short of money.

    1. a.
      if something is short or in short supply, there is not enough of it or it is not easy to get

      Dad wasn’t working and money was short.

      Skilled workers are in short supply around here.

  6. 7
    rude and unfriendly when speaking to someone

    She’s very busy and can be a little short at times.

  7. 8
    linguistics a short vowel or syllable is one that you pronounce quickly
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