- to make (an appliance, switch, etc.) inoperable by establishing a short circuit in.
- to carry (a current) as a short circuit.
- to bypass, impede, hinder, or frustrate: Bad weather short-circuited my vacation plans.
- Electricity. to form a short circuit or become inoperable due to a short circuit.
Origin of short-circuit
First recorded in 1870–75
- an abnormal, usually unintentional condition of relatively low resistance between two points of different potential in a circuit, usually resulting in a flow of excess current.
Origin of short circuit
First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for short-circuit
This sort of sustained engagement can short-circuit racially triggered instances of the confirmation bias, wrote Dobbin.Office Parties Are Bad for Business
December 19, 2013
The post concluded, “Question: short memory or short-circuit?”Tesla Goes to War
May 23, 2013
There are 45 million people who have still got to choose and I am not going to short-circuit that.Gordon Brown's Disastrous Day
April 29, 2010
The induced currents in the rod amounted to a short-circuit of the field.Invasion
William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Direct contact with a Throg mind appears to short-circuit them.Storm Over Warlock
And in an eon of lying they never have run up against a short-circuit like that.Letter of the Law
Alan Edward Nourse
He may short-circuit some of them by means of Colonel House.Idling in Italy
We cannot bluff Providence, or short-circuit things to our liking.The Wanderings of a Spiritualist
Arthur Conan Doyle
- a faulty or accidental connection between two points of different potential in an electric circuit, bypassing the load and establishing a path of low resistance through which an excessive current can flow. It can cause damage to the components if the circuit is not protected by a fuse
- to develop or cause to develop a short circuit
- (tr) to bypass (a procedure, regulation, etc)
- (tr) to hinder or frustrate (plans, etc)
Sometimes (for senses 1, 2) shortened to: short
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for short-circuit
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An electrical path in a circuit that causes most of the current to flow around or away from some other path in the circuit. Accidental short circuits, especially between the high and low voltages of a power supply, can cause very strong current to flow, possibly damaging or overheating the circuit.
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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.