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One who has sold a contract to establish a market position and who has not yet closed out this position through an offsetting purchase; the opposite of a long position. Related: Long.

Short Position

The sale of a security or derivative, or the state of having sold one or the other. It is important to note that a short position is not closed, and is applied only to sales where further action may be required. For example, one who has borrowed securities and has then sold them is said to be have a short position with respect to that security, because he/she must eventually return an equivalent amount of the borrowed securities. Likewise, one who has sold (or written) an option is in a short position, because the option may be exercised at a later date. See also: Long position, Close a position.


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References in classic literature ?
I beg your pardon, sir, for the liberty I have taken in sending for you," said I; "but as I have just learnt your intention of leaving this place to-day, I feel it my duty to entreat that you will not on my account shorten your visit here even an hour.
Philip remembered the story of the Eastern King who, desiring to know the history of man, was brought by a sage five hundred volumes; busy with affairs of state, he bade him go and condense it; in twenty years the sage returned and his history now was in no more than fifty volumes, but the King, too old then to read so many ponderous tomes, bade him go and shorten it once more; twenty years passed again and the sage, old and gray, brought a single book in which was the knowledge the King had sought; but the King lay on his death-bed, and he had no time to read even that; and then the sage gave him the history of man in a single line; it was this: he was born, he suffered, and he died.
Lydgate did not mention to the Vicar another reason he had for wishing to shorten the period of courtship.
He seemed to see himself dragging out a restless existence on the Continent--Cannes, Hyeres, Algiers, Cairo-- among smartly dressed, disabled men of every nationality; forever going on journeys that led nowhere; hurrying to catch trains that he might just as well miss; getting up in the morning with a great bustle and splashing of water, to begin a day that had no purpose and no meaning; dining late to shorten the night, sleeping late to shorten the day.
She privately resolved to shorten her visit to Brighton.
Well, to shorten this tedious story-- which, however, I thought it my duty to relate--on that night, while I was here alone and thinking of anything but him, that Chinaman came back for his pigtail.
That precious thirty minutes thus employed served to shorten by just so much the day's labor.
Blifil, from his inexperience in the ways of women, and from his conceit of himself, took this behaviour for a modest assent to his courtship; and when, to shorten a scene which she could no longer support, Sophia rose up and left the room, he imputed that, too, merely to bashfulness, and comforted himself that he should soon have enough of her company.
He had helped to shorten its long tidal trough by taking shares in the lock at Teddington, and if he and other capitalists thought good, some day it could be shortened again.
Proceeding in this way, we can shorten the process which we are calling the cause more and more.
The only nasal swab clinically proven to shorten the duration of a cold - providing soothing relief with a snap
After the Abbott government's budget revelations on May 13, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declared in a speech that "Australia has been deceived.