Idioms

Origin of short

before 900; Middle English schort (adj.), Old English sceort; cognate with Old High German scurz short, Old Norse skortr shortness, scarcity

SYNONYMS FOR short

4 Short, brief are opposed to long, and indicate slight extent or duration. Short may imply duration but is also applied to physical distance and certain purely spatial relations: a short journey. Brief refers especially to duration of time: brief intervals.
5 terse, succinct, laconic, condensed.
6 curt, sharp, testy.
7 poor, deficient, inadequate, wanting, lacking.
12 crumbly.
14 brachycephalic.

Related forms

short·ness, nouno·ver·short, adjectiveo·ver·short·ness, nounun·short, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for short of

See also shorts

Derived Forms

shortness, noun

Word Origin for short

Old English scort; related to Old Norse skortr a lack, skera to cut, Old High German scurz 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

Idioms and Phrases with short of (1 of 2)

short of

1

Having an inadequate supply of, as in We're short of cash right now. [Late 1600s] Also see fall short of.


2

Less than, inferior to, as in Nothing short of her best effort was needed to make the team. [Mid-1500s]

3

Other than, without resorting to, as in Short of yelling, I had no other way of getting his attention.

4

See stop short, def. 3.

Idioms and Phrases with short of (2 of 2)

short

In addition to the idioms beginning with short

  • short and sweet
  • short end of the stick, the
  • short for
  • short haul
  • short notice, on
  • short of
  • short order
  • short run
  • short shrift, give

also see:

  • by the short hairs
  • caught short
  • cut short
  • fall short
  • for short
  • in brief (short)
  • in short order
  • in short supply
  • in the long (short) run
  • life is too short
  • long and short of it
  • long (short) haul
  • make a long story short
  • make short work of
  • nothing short of
  • run short
  • sell short
  • stop short

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