make short work of

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

make short work of (third-person singular simple present makes short work of, present participle making short work of, simple past and past participle made short work of)

  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To do (a task) quicker or easier.
    A good electric screwdriver will make short work of the disassembly process.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To deal with or overcome (someone or something) quickly and without difficulty.
    • 1897, Maynard Barbour, The Award of Justice, ch. 26:
      "There was desperate characters here, but the vigilantes made short work of 'em."
    • 1914, James Joyce, "Counterparts" in Dubliners:
      "You impertinent ruffian! You impertinent ruffian! I'll make short work of you!"

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