—shortness, n.adj.1. having little length; not long.2. having little height; not tall: a short man.3. extending or reaching only a little way: a short path.4. brief in duration; not extensive in time: a short wait.5. brief or concise, as writing.6. rudely brief; abrupt; hurting: short behavior.7. low in amount; scanty: short rations.8. not reaching a point, mark, target, or the like; not long enough or far enough.9. below the standard in extent, quantity, duration, etc.: short measure.10. having a scanty or insufficient amount of (often fol. by in or on): He was short in experience.11. being below a necessary or desired level; lacking: The office is short due to winter colds and flu.12. Cookery.a. (of pastry and the like) crisp and flaky; breaking or crumbling readily from being made with a large proportion of butter or other shortening.b. (of dough) containing a relatively large amount of shortening.13. (of metals) deficient in tenacity; friable; brittle.14. (of the head or skull) of less than ordinary length from front to back.15. Stock Exchange.a. not possessing at the time of sale commodities or stocks that one sells.b. noting or pertaining to a sale of commodities or stocks that the seller does not possess, depending for profit on a decline in prices.16. Phonet.a. lasting a relatively short time: "Bit" has a shorter vowel-sound than "bid" or "bead."b. belonging to a class of sounds considered as usually shorter in duration than another class, as the vowel of but as compared to that of bought, and in many languages serving as a distinctive feature of phonemes, as the a in German Bann in contrast with the ah in Bahn, or the t in Italian fato in contrast with the tt in fatto (opposed to long).c. having the sound of the English vowels in bat, bet, bit, hot, but, and put, historically descended from vowels that were short in duration.17. Pros.a. (of a syllable in quantitative verse) lasting a relatively shorter time than a long syllable.b. unstressed.18. (of an alcoholic drink) small: a short drink.19. Chiefly Brit. (of whiskey) undiluted; straight.20. Ceram. (of clay) not plastic enough to be modeled.21. Ropemaking. hard (def. 39).22. short and sweet,a. pleasantly brief.b. pertinent: We're in a hurry, so make it short and sweet.23. short for, being a shorter form of; abbreviated to: "Phone" is short for "telephone."24. short of,a. less than; inferior to.c. without going to the length of; failing of; excluding: Short of murder, there is nothing he wouldn't have tried to get what he wanted.adv.26. abruptly or suddenly: to stop short.27. briefly; curtly.28. on the near side of an intended or particular point: The arrow landed short.29. Baseball.a. with the hands higher on the handle of the bat than usual: He held the bat short and flied out.b. in a fielding position closer to home plate than usual.30. come or fall short,a. to fail to reach a particular standard.b. to prove insufficient; be lacking: Her funds fell short, and she had to wire home for help.31. cut short, to end abruptly; terminate: Her nap was cut short by a loud noise from outside.32. run short, to be in insufficient supply: My patience is running short.33. sell short,a. Stock Exchange. to sell stocks or the like without having them in one's actual possession at the time of the sale.b. to disparage or underestimate: Don't sell Tom short; he's really an excellent engineer.n.34. something that is short.35. that which is deficient or lacking.36. the sum and substance of a matter; gist (usually prec. by the).37. shorts,a. trousers, knee-length or shorter.b. short pants worn by men as an undergarment.c. knee breeches, formerly worn by men.d. Finance. short-term bonds.e. Mining. crushed ore failing to pass through a given screen, thus being of a larger given size than a specific grade. Cf. fine (def. 29a).f. remnants, discards, or refuse of various cutting and manufacturing processes.38. a size of garment for men who are shorter than average: He wears a 42 short.39. a garment, as a suit or overcoat, in such a size.40. Mil. a shot that strikes or bursts short of the target.41. Elect. See short circuit.42. Pros. a short sound or syllable.43. Baseball. shortstop (def. 1).44. Motion Pictures. See short subject.45. Finance. See short seller.46. a deficiency or the amount of a deficiency.47. Chiefly Brit. a small drink of straight whiskey; shot.48. for short, by way of abbreviation: Her name is Patricia, and she's called Pat for short.49. in short,a. in summary.b. in few words; in brief: In short, this has been rather a disappointing day.v.t.50. to cause a short circuit in.51. to cheat by giving less than is expected or deserved; shortchange.v.i.52. to short-circuit.Syn. 4. SHORT, BRIEF are opposed to long, and indicate slight extent or duration. SHORT may imply duration but is also applied to physical distance and certain purely spatial relations: a short journey. BRIEF refers esp. to duration of time: brief intervals. 5. terse, succinct, laconic, condensed. 6. curt, sharp, testy. 7. poor, deficient, inadequate, wanting, lacking. 12. crumbly. 14. brachycephalic.Ant. 3, 4. long.
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