The word "short" is an adjective. It’s the opposite of "tall" or "long."

  • Edgar is short. He’s five feet, three inches tall.
  • It’s a short, one-hour flight to Chicago.
  • That move was short. It was only an hour and a half.
  • The students spent a short amount of time in the classroom today.

The word "short" is also a great word to use when you don’t have enough of something. You can use this for money, time, or just about anything that you can count. Here are some examples:

  • The restaurant at the hotel was short-staffed last night, so everyone had to work harder.
  • Alex’s term paper was a few pages short, so the teacher gave him a lower grade.
  • Can you please hurry? We’re short of time.
  • I’m short of money. Can I borrow some from you?
  • Ayan wanted to buy some shoes that cost $30, but she was six dollars short. How much money did she have? (Answer: twenty-four dollars)
  • Todd checked his cash register and noticed he was a hundred dollars short. What happened to the money?

grocery store cash register

A person who wears shorts, wears pants that do not go all the way down the legs. The pants are short. Shorts are worn by men and women.

  • Ronald wears shorts in the summer.
  • I like to wear shorts when it’s hot outside.
  • The doctor told his patient to strip down to his shorts. (Sometimes the word "shorts" refers to a man’s underwear.)

shorts He’s wearing shorts.

The word "shorten" is a verb. It means to make something shorter.

simplepastpast participle
  • A tailor shortened the sleeves on my coat because they were too long.
  • The meeting was shortened by about half an hour.
  • The workday is shortened on Christmas Eve so that people can get home to be with their families.

There are more words for you to learn here.

This page was first published on December 5, 2011.

It was amended on December 24, 2014.