caught short

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.


Nearby words

  1. caudle cup,
  2. caught,
  3. caught dead, wouldn't be,
  4. caught flat-footed,
  5. caught in the middle,
  6. caught with one's pants down, be,
  7. caul,
  8. cauld,
  9. cauldrife,
  10. cauldron

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.