The word ‘short’ as an adjective can mean not very tall or a small length of time. For example:

  • My son is very short for his age. (not very tall)
  • The film was short, it only lasted 80 minutes. (small length of time)

Let’s take a look at some common idioms containing the word ‘short’.

idioms and phrases with adjectives - short

come up short

meaning – insufficient, lacking what you need, unsuccessful
example – I keep coming up short on auditions, maybe I should quit singing.

adjective idioms (short) - come up short

feel short changed

meaning – feel cheated by the product or service you were given
example – I paid $500 to see Justin Bieber. He only sang for 5 minutes, I felt short changed.

adjective idioms (short) - feel short changed

sandwich short of a picnic

meaning – a stupid/mad/not very intelligent person
example – I caught my neighbour hoovering her lawn. She’s definitely a sandwich short of a picnic.

adjective idioms (short) - sandwich short of a picnic

short on cash

meaning – not have enough money
example – I can’t go out tomorrow night, I’m a little short on cash until pay day.

adjective idioms (short) - short on cash