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make short work of

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Complete or consume quickly, as in The children made short work of the ice cream, or They made short work of cleaning up so they could get to the movies. This term, first recorded in 1577, in effect means “to turn something into a brief task.”

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

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