Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “short”

short

adjective     /ʃɔːt/
[not before a noun] not having enough of something that you need: be short of sth We are very short of staff and if we face a major incident we'll be stretched.be short on sth The Budget was short on announcements about personal taxes.leave sth short of sth The rocky economy has left the state so short of money that it must cut spending.
[not before a noun] not available or not large enough in number or amount: The most common ways of ending an interview are saying that time is short. Those from well-off homes tend to be spendthrift even when money is short.
less than a particular amount: short of sth The charity raised just short of €7m last year.
STOCK MARKET used to describe the selling of shares that you have borrowed, hoping that their price will fall before you buy them back and return them to their owner, making a profit: In a short sale, an investor can sell stock he doesn't own, hoping to buy the shares at a cheaper price later on.
used to describe a shorter form of a name or word: short for sth Ami is short for artificial machine intelligence.for short Keep an eye on Canada's Northern Telecom, Nortel for short.
at short notice (US also on short notice) with little warning: Many start-up companies need the freedom to hire and fire staff at short notice.
in short supply not available in large amounts or numbers: Temporary workers are in short supply. If you can offer talents that are in short supply, you are in a strong position.
(Definition of short adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of short

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Low, short and shallow, but you might be interested in these topics from the Height, width and length topic area:

Definitions of “short” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

well in (with)

to have a good relationship with someone in which they like you and from which you get an advantage

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More