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shortly definition


This page has 8 definitions of shortly in English and Middle English. Shortly is an adverb and adjective. Examples of how to use shortly in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English shortly definition


From Middle English schortly, schortliche, from Old English sċortlīċe (shortly; before long; soon), equivalent to short +‎ -ly.



shortly (not comparable)

  1. In a short or brief time or manner; quickly.
  2. In or after a short time; soon.
  3. In few words
    Synonyms: briefly, concisely
    Ideas are generally expressed more shortly in verse than in prose
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 928184292:
      We shall not describe this tragical scene too fully; but we thought ourselves obliged, by that historic integrity which we profess, shortly to hint a matter which we would otherwise have been glad to have spared.
  4. In an irritable ("short") manner.
    Synonyms: abruptly, curtly
    • 2009, Susanne James, The Millionaire's Chosen Bride (page 147)
      'Well, I still think it was a rather off-hand way for you—for anyone—to behave,' he said shortly.
      Suddenly Melody felt trapped—and annoyed. And she didn't like being spoken to like a child, either.


Middle English shortly definition

Etymology 1

From Old English sċortlīċ, equivalent to short +‎ -ly.

Alternative forms



  1. lasting a short time; transitory
  2. brief; concise
  3. fast; quick

Etymology 2

From Old English sċortlīċe, equivalent to short +‎ -ly.

Alternative forms



  1. shortly (in a short period of time)
    • 14th Century, Chaucer, General Prologue
      Now have I toold you shortly in a clause
      Now that I have briefly told you above