verb (used with object), short·changed, short·chang·ing.

to give less than the correct change to.
to deal with unfairly or dishonestly, especially to cheat.

Origin of shortchange

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95
Related formsshort·chang·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for short-change

fleece, sting, shortchange, shortweight

British Dictionary definitions for short-change


verb (tr)

to give less than correct change to
slang to treat unfairly or dishonestly, esp by giving less than is deserved or expected
Derived Formsshort-changer, noun
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-change

also shortchange, "to cheat by giving too little change to," 1903, from adjectival expression short-change (with man, trick, etc.), 1901, from short (adj.) + change (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper