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short order

a dish or serving of food that is quickly prepared upon request at a lunch counter.


[shawrt-awr-der] /ˈʃɔrtˌɔr dər/
of, relating to, or specializing in short orders:
a short-order cook; short-order diner.
performed or supplied quickly:
They obtained a short-order divorce decree.
1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for short-order
  • So imagine a short-order cook working in a busy café.
  • Even fairly ambitious shows can be short-order jobs.
  • short-order cooks prepare foods in restaurants and coffee shops that emphasize fast service and quick food preparation.
  • short-order cooks prepare grilled items and sandwiches in establishments that emphasize fast service.
  • Offerings may consist of cafeteria style main courses and a short-order line for lunch and dinner.
British Dictionary definitions for short-order

short order

(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. food that is easily and quickly prepared
  2. (as modifier): short-order counter
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-order

of restaurants, from 1897, from adverbial expression in short order "rapidly, with no fuss," from short (adj.) + order (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with short-order

short order

Quickly; see in short order
An order of food to be prepared and served quickly, as in It's just a diner, serving short orders exclusively. This expression, dating from about 1890, gave rise to the adjective short-order, used not only in short-order cook, a cook specializing in short orders, but in other terms such as short-order divorce, a divorce quickly obtained owing to liberal divorce laws.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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