The long and the short

The long and the short
Short Short, n. 1. A summary account. [1913 Webster]

The short and the long is, our play is preferred. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. pl. The part of milled grain sifted out which is next finer than the bran. [1913 Webster]

The first remove above bran is shorts. --Halliwell. [1913 Webster]

3. pl. Short, inferior hemp. [1913 Webster]

4. pl. Breeches; shortclothes. [Slang] --Dickens. [1913 Webster]

5. (Phonetics) A short sound, syllable, or vowel. [1913 Webster]

If we compare the nearest conventional shorts and longs in English, as in ``bit'' and ``beat,'' ``not'' and ``naught,'' we find that the short vowels are generally wide, the long narrow, besides being generally diphthongic as well. Hence, originally short vowels can be lengthened and yet kept quite distinct from the original longs. --H. Sweet. [1913 Webster]

{In short}, in few words; in brief; briefly.

{The long and the short}, the whole; a brief summing up.

{The shorts} (Stock Exchange), those who are unsupplied with stocks which they contracted to deliver. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • the long and the short — or[the long and short] {n. phr.} All that needs to be said; the basic fact; point. * /The long and the short of the matter is that the man is no actor./ * /The money isn t there, and that s the long and short of it./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • the long and the short — or[the long and short] {n. phr.} All that needs to be said; the basic fact; point. * /The long and the short of the matter is that the man is no actor./ * /The money isn t there, and that s the long and short of it./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • the long and the short — phrasal see the long and short …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • long and short of it — {n. phr.} The essence; the whole story in a nutshell. * /The long and short of it is that he is lazy and doesn t really want to find a job./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • long and short of it — {n. phr.} The essence; the whole story in a nutshell. * /The long and short of it is that he is lazy and doesn t really want to find a job./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • the long and short — or the long and the short phrasal gist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • Short — Short, a. [Compar. {Shorter}; superl. {Shortest}.] [OE. short, schort, AS. scort, sceort; akin to OHG. scurz, Icel. skorta to be short of, to lack, and perhaps to E. shear, v. t. Cf. {Shirt}.] 1. Not long; having brief length or linear extension; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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