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Origin of shortly

before 900; Middle English schortly, Old English scortlīce; see short, -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shortly

soon, quickly, presently, anon, proximately

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British Dictionary definitions for shortly


  1. in a short time; soon
  2. in a few words; briefly
  3. in a curt or rude manner
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 shortly

Old English scortlice "briefly," also, in late Old English, "in short time;" from short (adj.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper