Found to be lacking something one needs, especially money, as in Can you pay the check? I seem to be caught short. This idiom uses short in the sense of “lacking money,” a usage dating from the early 1500s.
Words nearby caught short
How to use caught short in a sentence
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
A street sweeper was caught in the crossfire as a gunman fired at the officer, fatally wounding her in the back.
Detectives with a fugitive task force caught up with Polanco and a friend on a Bronx street in the early afternoon.
If she got caught with a shank, they would up her custody level.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
From there we took the train to Nice, France, but the French border control caught us and sent us back to Italy.
Most of the men leaped up, caught hold of spears or knives, and rushed out.
Even as they gazed they saw its roof caught up, and whirled off as if it had been a scroll of paper.
But at the instant I caught a sight of my counterfeit presentment in a shop window, and veiled my haughty crest.God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
When we'd finished, one of the hunters rounded up the horses and we caught our nags and saddled them.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
He caught himself in the act of listening to you too credulously—and that seemed to him unmanly and dishonorable.Confidence|Henry James