• synonyms


[ shawrt-sur-kit ]
/ ˌʃɔrtˈsɜr kɪt /

verb (used with object)

  1. to make (an appliance, switch, etc.) inoperable by establishing a short circuit in.
  2. to carry (a current) as a short circuit.
to bypass, impede, hinder, or frustrate: Bad weather short-circuited my vacation plans.

verb (used without object)

Electricity. to form a short circuit or become inoperable due to a short circuit.


What Are Mr. And Mrs. Short For?When it comes to Mr and Mrs the difference is pretty clear, but what about Miss Mrs Ms? Quick answer: Ask her what she prefers — Miss Mrs or Ms?


duck, shuffle, sidestep, evade, elude, escape, ditch, skirt, trick, swerve, deceive, fence, pussyfoot, equivocate, lurch, parry, dark, slide, malinger, weasel

Nearby words

short wave, short waves, short-acting, short-billed marsh wren, short-change, short-circuit, short-commons, short-cut, short-dated, short-day, short-day plant

Origin of short-circuit

First recorded in 1870–75

Definition for short-circuit (2 of 2)

short circuit

noun Electricity.

an abnormal, usually unintentional condition of relatively low resistance between two points of different potential in a circuit, usually resulting in a flow of excess current.

Origin of short circuit

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for short-circuit

British Dictionary definitions for short-circuit

short circuit


a faulty or accidental connection between two points of different potential in an electric circuit, bypassing the load and establishing a path of low resistance through which an excessive current can flow. It can cause damage to the components if the circuit is not protected by a fuse

verb short-circuit

to develop or cause to develop a short circuit
(tr) to bypass (a procedure, regulation, etc)
(tr) to hinder or frustrate (plans, etc)
Sometimes (for senses 1, 2) shortened to: 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

Word Origin and History for short-circuit

short circuit


also short-circuit, 1854, in electricity, from short (adj.) + circuit (n.). As a verb, introduce a shunt of low resistance," from 1867; intransitive sense from 1902; in the figurative sense is recorded by 1899. Related: short-circuited; short-circuiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for short-circuit

short circuit

[ shôrt ]

An electrical path in a circuit that causes most of the current to flow around or away from some other path in the circuit. Accidental short circuits, especially between the high and low voltages of a power supply, can cause very strong current to flow, possibly damaging or overheating the circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for short-circuit

short circuit

An electrical circuit in which a path of very low resistance has been opened, usually accidentally. When the resistance drops, the electric current (see also current) in the circuit becomes very high and can cause damage to the circuit and start fires.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.