Etymology
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account (n.)
Origin and meaning of account

c. 1300, "counting," especially "reckoning of money received and paid, detailed statement of funds owed or spent or property held," from Old French acont "(financial) account, reckoning, terminal payment," from a "to" (see ad-) + cont "counting, reckoning of money to be paid," from Late Latin computus "a calculation," from Latin computare "to count, sum up, reckon together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + putare "to reckon" (originally "to prune," from PIE root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp").

From the first it was often in plural form; sometimes in late Middle English it was accompt (see account (v.)). The meaning "course of business dealings requiring records" is from 1640s; hence "arrangement to keep money in a business, bank, etc." (1833), also "customer or client having an account" (1937). Money of account (1690s), that used in reckoning but not circulating as coin or paper, preserves the "counting" sense of the word.

From the notion of "rendering an account" comes the sense "statement answering for conduct" (mid-14c.) and the general sense "narration, recital of facts," attested by 1610s. From the notion of "statement of reasons" comes on no account "under no circumstances" (1704). Also from c. 1300 in reference to answering for one's conduct, especially at the Last Judgment. The meaning "estimation, consideration," especially in the eyes of others, is from late 14c.

On account in the financial sense "as an item to be accounted for at the final settlement" is from 1610s, hence on account of in the general sense "for the sake of, in regard to, in consideration of" (1640s, originally upon account of). Also on (my, your, etc.) account "on (one's) behalf." To give accounts "prepare or present a statement of funds and property" is from mid-15c; the older term was cast accounts (mid-14c.); to take account of originally was to make an inventory; take into account "take account of" is from 1680s. The phrase by all accounts is attested from 1798.

The spellings accompt, accomptable, etc. are artificial forms used, not prevailingly, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They are now obsolete, or nearly so, though accompt and accomptant may still be used in the formal or legal style. The pronunciation has always conformed to the regular spelling, account, accountable, etc. [Century Dictionary]
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account (v.)
Origin and meaning of account

c. 1300, accounten, "to count, enumerate," from Old French aconter "to enumerate; reckon up, render account" (Modern French conter), from a "to" (see ad-) + conter "to count, tell" (see count (v.)).

The meaning "reckon for money given or received, render a reckoning," is from late 14c. The sense of "to explain, justify" (c. 1300) is from the notion of "present a detailed explanation of money, etc. held in trust." The transferred sense of "to value, to estimate" (to account as belonging to a certain class of quality) is from late 14c. The intransitive sense of "render an account of particulars" is from late 14c.; hence the transitive sense "give an explanation" (1670s, which usually takes to before a person and for before a thing).

In later Old French the word was partly re-Latinized as acompter (Modern French accompter), hence late Middle English accompten. Related: Accounted; accounting.

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short (adj.)

Middle English short, from Old English sceort, scort "of little length; not tall; of brief duration," probably from Proto-Germanic *skurta- (source also of Old Norse skorta "to be short of," skort "shortness;" Old High German scurz "short"), from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut," on the notion of "something cut off."

Compare Sanskrit krdhuh "shortened, maimed, small;" Latin curtus "short," cordus "late-born," originally "stunted in growth;" Old Church Slavonic kratuku, Russian korotkij "short;" Lithuanian skursti "to be stunted," skardus "steep;" Old Irish cert "small," Middle Irish corr "stunted, dwarfish," all considered to be from the same root.

Of memories from mid-14c. The sense of "not up to a required standard or amount" is from late 14c.; that of "not far enough to reach the mark" is by 1540s, in archery; that of "having an insufficient quantity" is from 1690s. The meaning "rude, curt, abrupt" is attested from late 14c. The meaning "easily provoked" is from 1590s; perhaps the notion is of being "not long in tolerating."

Of vowels or syllables, "not prolonged in utterance," late Old English. Of alcoholic drinks, colloquially, "unmixed with water, undiluted," by 1839, so called because served in small measure.

Short rib "asternal rib, one of the lower ribs," which are in general shorter than the upper ones, is from c. 1400. Short fuse in the figurative sense of "quick temper" is attested by 1951. Short run "relatively brief period of time" is from 1879. Short story for "work of prose fiction shorter than a novel" is recorded by 1877. To make short work of "dispose of quickly" is attested from 1570s. Phrase short and sweet is from 1530s. To be short by the knees (1733) was to be kneeling; to be short by the head (1540s) was to be beheaded.

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short (n.)

1580s, the short "the result, the total," from short (adj.). The meaning "electrical short circuit" is by 1906 (see short circuit). The meaning "contraction of a name or phrase" is by 1845 (in for short). The general sense of "whatever is deficient in number, quality, etc." is by 1868.

By 1823 as "a short drink." The slang meaning "car" is attested from 1897; originally "street car," so called because street cars (or the rides taken in them) were "shorter" than railroad cars. By 1929 as "a short film."

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short (adv.)

c. 1300, from short (adj.). To fall short is from archery. To cut (something) short is by 1590s. To sell short "sell what the seller does not at the time possess" is by 1852.

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short (v.)

Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," from the source of short (adj.). Transitive meaning "make short or shorter" is from late 12c. Meaning "to short-circuit" is by 1904. Related: Shorted; shorting.

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no-account (adj.)

"worthless," 1845, American English, literally "of no account" (see account (n.)). The phrase of non acompte "of no value or importance" is from late 14c. Contracted form no'count is attested from 1853.

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short-sighted (adj.)

also shortsighted, 1640s, of eyesight, "myopic, having distinct vision only when an object is near;" 1620s in the sense "lacking foresight, not considering remote consequences;" see short (adj.) + sight (n.). The noun short-sight is attested from 1820s. Related: Shortsightedly; shortsightedness.

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short circuit (n.)

also short-circuit, 1854, in electricity, "a shunt connecting two parts of an electric current so as to carry a greater part of it," from short (adj.) + circuit (n.). As a verb, "introduce a shunt of low resistance into an electric current," from 1867; intransitive sense from 1902; in the figurative sense by 1899. Related: Short-circuited; short-circuiting.

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short-timer (n.)

in the military sense of "one whose term or enlistment is about to expire," 1906, from short (adj.) + time (n.) + agent noun ending -er (1). Earlier "child who attends school part-time" (by 1863); "prostitute's customer" (1923). The noun phrase short time is attested by mid-14c.

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