From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishshortshort1 /ʃɔːt $ ʃɔːrt/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative shorter, superlative shortest) 1 timeSHORT TIME happening or continuing for only a little time or for less time than usual opp long a short meeting Morris gave a short laugh. a short course on business English Winter is coming and the days are getting shorter. I’ve only been in Brisbane a short time. For a short while (=a short time), the city functioned as the region’s capital. I learned a lot during my short period as a junior reporter. Germany achieved spectacular economic success in a relatively short period of time. They met and married within a short space of time. I promise to keep the meeting short and sweet (=short in a way that is good, especially not talking for a long time). For a few short weeks (=they seemed to pass very quickly), the sun shone and the fields turned gold.2 length/distanceSHORT/NOT LONG measuring a small amount in length or distance opp long a short skirt Anita had her hair cut short. They went by the shortest route, across the fields. Carol’s office was only a short distance away, and she decided that she would walk there.a short walk/flight/drive It’s a short drive to the airport. The hotel is only a short walk from the beach.3 not tallSHORT PERSON someone who is short is not as tall as most people opp tall a short plump woman Chris was short and stocky, with broad shoulders. He’s a bit shorter than me.4 book/letterSHORT/NOT LONG a book, letter etc that is short does not have many words or pages opp long a short novel I wrote a short note to explain. → short story5 not enough a) if you are short of something, you do not have enough of itbe short (of something) Can you lend me a couple of dollars? I’m a little short.be short of money/cash/funds Our libraries are short of funds.be 5p/$10 etc short Have you all paid me? I’m about £9 short.I’m a bit short British English spoken (=I haven’t got much money at the moment)somebody is not short of something British English (=they have a lot of it) Your little girl’s not short of confidence, is she? They’re not short of a few bob (=they are rich). b) if something is short, there is not enough of it Money was short in those days. It’s going to be difficult – time is short. Gasoline was in short supply (=not enough of it was available) after the war.6 → be short on something7 less thanLESS a little less than a numbershort of Her time was only two seconds short of the world record.just/a little short of something She was just short of six feet tall.8 → short notice9 → in the short term/run10 → have a short memory11 → be short for something12 → be short of breath13 → be short with somebody14 → have a short temper/fuse15 → get/be given short shrift16 → be nothing/little short of something17 → draw/get the short straw18 → make short work of (doing) something19 → have/get somebody by the short and curlies20 → be one ... short of a ...21 → short time22 → in short order23 → give somebody short measure24 sound technicalSL a short vowel is pronounced quickly without being emphasized, for example the sound of a in ‘cat’, e in ‘bet’, and i in ‘bit’ opp long —shortness noun [uncountable] He was suffering from shortness of breath. Shirley was very conscious of her shortness and always wore high heels. → life’s too short at life(27)THESAURUStimeshort not longI lived in Tokyo for a short time.Smokers have a shorter life expectancy than non-smokers.brief especially written lasting only for a short time. Brief is more formal than short, and is used especially in written EnglishThe president will make a brief visit to Seattle today.He coached Hingis for a brief period in the 1990s.quick [only before noun] taking a short time to do somethingI had a quick look at the map.He had a quick shower and then went out.short-lived lasting only for a short time – used especially when someone wishes that a good situation had been able to last for longer short-lived successThe ceasefire was short-lived.a short-lived romanceshort-lived optimism about the economyfleeting lasting only for an extremely short time – used especially when someone wishes that something had been able to last for longera fleeting visita fleeting smileShe caught a fleeting glimpse of him. a fleeting moment of happinessa fleeting thoughtmomentary lasting for a very short time – used especially about feelings or pausesThere was a momentary pause in the conversation.The momentary panic ended when he found his two-year-old son waiting happily outside the store.passing [only before noun] lasting only for a short time – used especially when people are only interested in something or mention something for a short timepassing fashionsHe made only a passing reference to war. It’s just a passing phase (=it will end soon).ephemeral formal lasting only for a short time, and ending quickly like everything else in this worldBeauty is ephemeral.the ephemeral nature of our existenceHis wealth proved to be ephemeral.personshort someone who is short is not as tall as most peopleHe was a short fat man.not very tall quite short. This phrase sounds more gentle than saying that someone is shortShe wasn’t very tall – maybe about 1.60 m.small short and with a small bodyMy mother was a small woman.The girl was quite small for her age (=smaller than other girls of the same age).petite used about a woman who is attractively short and thinShe was a petite woman with blonde hair.stocky used about a boy or man who is short, heavy, and strongHarry was stocky and middle-aged.dumpy short and fata dumpy girl with red hair diminutive formal or literary very short or small – used especially in descriptions in novelsa diminutive figure dressed in black stubby stubby fingers or toes are short and thickthe baby’s stubby little fingersIf there is more than one adjective, the adjectives are usually used in a fixed order.You say: I bought a beautiful short dress. ✗Don’t say: I bought a short beautiful dress.You say: She has short black hair. ✗Don’t say: She has black short hair.
Examples from the Corpusshort• Suddenly, every day seems just that little bit shorter.• 'What does she look like?' 'She's short and fat, with brown hair.'• Brad is fairly short and stocky.• But it was always widely feared that the narrow time frame was far too short and would work against an effective peace.• a short course in aromatherapy• She has short curly hair and wears glasses.• Sandy took a short cut home.• Do you know any short cuts to the hospital?• It's a short drive from the airport.• Perhaps more significant are the events in the remaining and short history of the Rochdale Co-operative Manufacturing Society.• Please write a short paragraph explaining your reasons for applying to this college.• a short pause in the conversation• I said after a short pause.• It would have been better if they'd closed the road for a short period of time while the repairs were done.• The problem worsens with the relentless financial pressures for immediate performance in the short run.• a short-sleeved T-shirt• The chapters are really short, so I read a couple every night.• Ken gave a short speech at the award ceremony.• Graham made a short speech of thanks after the ceremony.• a short, stocky man with powerful shoulders• a book of short stories• Mr Haddad was several inches shorter than his wife.• I've just been living here a short time.• I really do feel this way for a short time.• Chris went for a short walk to clear his head.• A short while later, the doorbell rang.a short time• How did you manage to do all this in such a short time?• He told me before she came that she was asking for somewhere secret to stay for a short time.• Is he the kind of man to lend you the rings for luck for a short time?• I think he went to prison for a short time.• The police arrived within a very short time.• The talk should only last a short time.• Your friends left a short time ago.• Employees may try working at the new location for a short time and then decide not to continue.• After a short time had passed he began to tap his foot on the kerb impatiently.• Within a short time her influence in the field of social work spread beyond the confines of Denison House.• I thought about my dear wife, and for a short time I felt better.• Alistair arrived at the party a short time later, and he too seemed to be known among the various performers.• Unfortunately, we could only spend a short time together.• As a result of her actions, Amelia became even more popular and within a short time was practically running Ogontz.short distance• They drift off lazily to the west for a short distance.• At first, they assemble a short distance away, shyly facing the adults, who wave, smile, say hello.• It was built without delay, a short distance into Tennison Road, alongside a small market garden.• Taking a deep breath, Eline crossed the road and walked the short distance to Joe's house.• Lytham St Annes, a short distance to the south, has sandy beaches and several excellent golf courses.• She walked the short distance to work, seeing nothing of the beauty of the day.• Even within a short distance we can see remarkable changes of thickness.• The vehicles will go through deep drifts for short distances when the momentum of the vehicle will carry it through.be short (of something)• Can you lend me a couple of dollars? I'm still a little short.• Jill dropped out of college two credits short of graduation.• At first in a bunch, then stringing out, some hastening, some loitering, though the distance is short.• My breath is short, and my heartbeat thunders intermittently in the ear against the pillow.• Communications are short and publication is rapid, providing information on new avenues of research in the shortest possible time.• He was short, in his fifties, wearing a white shirt with a brown paisley pattern.• She can't be short of a bob or two.• The Democrats are three votes short of a majority in the Senate.• Their huts were short tepees protected by tree branches or rounded huts covered with animal skins.• Clinic measurements of children under 2 years of age tended to show length to be shorter than actual. 3.• As the majority of the words would be shorter than this, there would a large amount of wasted space.just/a little short of something• As far as I was concerned, it was just a little short of hack work.