Having little length; not long. Having little height; not tall. Extending or traveling not far or not far enough: a short toss. Lasting a brief time: a short holiday. Appearing to pass quickly: finished the job in a few short months. Not lengthy; succinct: short and to the point. Rudely brief; abrupt. Easily provoked; irascible. Inadequate; insufficient: oil in short supply; were short on experience. Lacking in length or amount: a board that is short two inches. Lacking in breadth or scope: a short view of the problem. Deficient in retentiveness: a short memory. Not owning the stocks or commodities one is selling in anticipation of a fall in prices. Of or relating to a short sale. Containing a large amount of shortening; flaky: a short pie crust. Not ductile; brittle: short iron. Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a speech sound of relatively brief duration, as the first vowel sound in the Latin word m\u0103lus, "evil,\u201d as compared with the same or a similar sound of relatively long duration, as the first vowel sound in the Latin word m\u0101lus, "apple tree.\u201d Grammar Of, relating to, or being a vowel sound in English, such as the vowel sound (\u0103) in pat or (o\u035do) in put, that is descended from a vowel of brief duration. Unstressed; unaccented. Used of a syllable in accentual prosody. Being of relatively brief duration. Used of a syllable in quantitative prosody. Slang Close to the end of a tour of military duty. Abruptly; quickly: stop short. In a rude or curt manner. At a point before a given boundary, limit, or goal: a missile that landed short of the target. At a disadvantage: We were caught short by the sudden storm.