short order

Idioms & Phrases

short order

  1. Quickly; see in short order.

  2. 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 , 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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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