short (adj.)

Old English sceort, scort "short, not long, not tall; brief," 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 from the same root).

Meaning "having an insufficient quantity" is from 1690s. Meaning "rude" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "easily provoked" is from 1590s; perhaps the notion is of being "not long in tolerating."

Short fuse in figurative sense of "quick temper" first attested 1968. To fall short is from archery. Short run "relatively brief period of time" is from 1879. Short story first recorded 1877. Short cut is from 1580s, from cut (n.) in the sense "passage, course, or way straight across" (1570s). To make short work of "dispose of quickly" is first attested 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.

short (n.)

1580s, the short "the result, the total," from short (adj.). Meaning "electrical short circuit" first recorded 1906 (see short circuit). Meaning "contraction of a name or phrase" is from 1873 (as in for short). 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.

short (v.)

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

Definitions of short
short (adj.)
marked by rude or peremptory shortness;
the salesgirl was very short with him
Synonyms: brusque / brusk / curt
short (adj.)
less than the correct or legal or full amount often deliberately so;
regularly gives short weight
Synonyms: light / scant
short (adj.)
primarily temporal sense; indicating or being or seeming to be limited in duration;
a short story
a short flight
a short holiday
a short life
only a few short months
short (adj.)
(primarily spatial sense) having little length or lacking in length;
short hair
the board was a foot short
short skirts
a short toss
short (adj.)
low in stature; not tall;
a short smokestack
he was short and stocky
short in stature
Synonyms: little
short (adj.)
of insufficient quantity to meet a need;
on short rations
money is short
food is in short supply
short on experience
Synonyms: inadequate / poor / jejune
short (adj.)
not holding securities or commodities that one sells in expectation of a fall in prices;
a short sale
short in cotton
short (adj.)
of speech sounds or syllables of relatively short duration;
the English vowel sounds in `pat', `pet', `pit', `pot', putt' are short
short (adj.)
lacking foresight or scope;
a short view of the problem
Synonyms: shortsighted / unforesightful / myopic
short (adj.)
tending to crumble or break into flakes due to a large amount of shortening;
a short flaky pie crust
short (adj.)
(of memory) deficient in retentiveness or range;
a short memory
Synonyms: unretentive / forgetful
short (adv.)
quickly and without warning;
Synonyms: abruptly / suddenly / dead
short (adv.)
without possessing something at the time it is contractually sold;
he made his fortune by selling short just before the crash
short (adv.)
clean across;
the car's axle snapped short
short (adv.)
at some point or distance before a goal is reached;
he fell short of our expectations
short (adv.)
so as to interrupt;
She took him up short before he could continue
short (adv.)
at a disadvantage;
I was caught short
Synonyms: unawares
short (adv.)
in a curt, abrupt and discourteous manner;
he talked short with everyone
Synonyms: curtly / shortly
short (n.)
the location on a baseball field where the shortstop is stationed;
short (n.)
accidental contact between two points in an electric circuit that have a potential difference;
Synonyms: short circuit
short (n.)
the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed between second and third base;
Synonyms: shortstop
short (v.)
cheat someone by not returning him enough money;
Synonyms: short-change
short (v.)
create a short circuit in;
Synonyms: short-circuit