Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceort; akin to Old High German scurz short, Old Norse skortr lack
Date: before 12th century
a. having little length
b. not tall or high ; low
a. not extended in time ; brief <a short vacation> b. not retentive <a short memory> c. expeditious, quick <made short work of the problem> d. seeming to pass quickly <made great progress in just a few short years> 3. a. of a speech sound having a relatively short duration b. being the member of a pair of similarly spelled vowel or vowel-containing sounds that is descended from a vowel that was short in duration but is no longer so and that does not necessarily have duration as its chief distinguishing feature <short i in sin> c. of a syllable in prosody (1) of relatively brief duration (2) unstressed 4. limited in distance <a short trip> 5. a. not coming up to a measure or requirement ; insufficient <in short supply> b. not reaching far enough <the throw to first was short> c. enduring privation d. insufficiently supplied <short of cash> <short on brains> 6. a. abrupt, curt <I'm sorry I was short with you> b. quickly provoked <a short temper> 7. choppy 2 8. payable at an early date <a short loan> 9. a. containing or cooked with shortening; also flaky <short pastry> b. of metal brittle under certain conditions 10. a. not lengthy or drawn out <a short speech> b. made briefer ; abbreviated 11. a. not having goods or property that one has sold in anticipation of a fall in prices b. consisting of, relating to, or engaging in the sale of securities or commodities that the seller does not possess or has not contracted for at the time of the sale <short sale> <a short seller> 12. near the end of a tour of duty • shortish adjective • shortness noun II. adverb Date: 14th century 1. in a curt manner 2. for or during a brief time <short-lasting> 3. at a disadvantage ; unawares <caught short> 4. in an abrupt manner ; suddenly <the car stopped short> 5. at some point or degree before a goal or limit aimed at or under consideration <the bombs fell short> <quit a month short of graduation> 6. clean across <the axle was snapped short> 7. by or as if by a short sale III. noun Date: circa 1586 1. the sum and substance ; upshot 2. a. a short syllable b. a short sound or signal 3. plural a. a by-product of wheat milling that includes the germ, fine bran, and some flour b. refuse, clippings, or trimmings discarded in various manufacturing processes 4. a. knee-length or less than knee-length trousers — usually used in plural b. plural short drawers c. a size in clothing for short men 5. a. one who operates on the short side of the market b. plural short-term bonds 6. plural deficiencies 7. short circuit 8. shortstop 9. a. short subject b. a brief story or article (as in a newspaper) IV. transitive verb Date: 1904 1. short-circuit 2. shortchange, cheat 3. to sell (a security) short in expectation of a fall in prices
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.