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[shawrt-han-did] /ˈʃɔrtˈhæn dɪd/
not having the usual or necessary number of workers, helpers, etc.
Origin of short-handed
Related forms
short-handedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for short-handed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In May, preparation was made for departure, and as the English were short-handed the two Frenchmen were forced to lend their aid.

    The Great Company Beckles Willson
  • “We are short-handed enough as it is,” he told me, when he joined us on the poop.

  • We are so short-handed in the office now that I dont know how we are going to get through to-night.

    Secret Service Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • When a ship has an insufficient complement, or is short-handed.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • But the ship was short-handed, for the skipper had made no provision against loss by accident.

  • The Sterling was short-handed this passage, mustering but four hands in a watch.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Being so short-handed on the farm, we were much behind in the matter of drawing our produce to market.

    The Copperhead Harold Frederic
  • We were too short-handed ourselves to spare a single soldier.

British Dictionary definitions for short-handed


lacking the usual or necessary number of assistants, workers, etc
(sport, US & Canadian) with less than the full complement of players
Derived Forms
short-handedness, noun
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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