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short circuit

noun, Electricity
1.
an abnormal, usually unintentional condition of relatively low resistance between two points of different potential in a circuit, usually resulting in a flow of excess current.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80

short-circuit

[shawrt-sur-kit] /ˌʃɔrtˈsɜr kɪt/
verb (used with object)
1.
Electricity.
  1. to make (an appliance, switch, etc.) inoperable by establishing a short circuit in.
  2. to carry (a current) as a short circuit.
2.
to bypass, impede, hinder, or frustrate:
Bad weather short-circuited my vacation plans.
verb (used without object)
3.
Electricity. to form a short circuit or become inoperable due to a short circuit.
Origin
1870-75
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for short circuit
  • Cells expansion and short circuit caused by direct anode contact and continuous high efficiency electric current overcharging.
  • Eventually these structures can cause a short circuit.
  • In addition, the connectors should be kept away from metals that could cause a short circuit.
  • These air conditioners can short circuit posing a risk of fires, and shock and burn injuries to consumers.
  • Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit.
  • The modules may cause a short circuit and result in overheating, smoke, and possibly fire.
  • U-tube designs perform well because of smaller thermal resistance, reduced short circuit heat transfer and pressure losses.
British Dictionary definitions for short circuit

short circuit

noun
1.
a faulty or accidental connection between two points of different potential in an electric circuit, bypassing the load and establishing a path of low resistance through which an excessive current can flow. It can cause damage to the components if the circuit is not protected by a fuse
verb
2.
to develop or cause to develop a short circuit
3.
(transitive) to bypass (a procedure, regulation, etc)
4.
(transitive) to hinder or frustrate (plans, etc)
Sometimes (for senses 1, 2) shortened to short
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for short circuit
n.

also short-circuit, 1854, in electricity, from short (adj.) + circuit (n.). As a verb, introduce a shunt of low resistance," from 1867; intransitive sense from 1902; in the figurative sense is recorded by 1899. Related: short-circuited; short-circuiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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short circuit in Science
short circuit
  (shôrt)   
An electrical path in a circuit that causes most of the current to flow around or away from some other path in the circuit. Accidental short circuits, especially between the high and low voltages of a power supply, can cause very strong current to flow, possibly damaging or overheating the circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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short circuit in Culture

short circuit definition


An electrical circuit in which a path of very low resistance has been opened, usually accidentally. When the resistance drops, the electric current in the circuit becomes very high and can cause damage to the circuit and start fires.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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8
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