to come up short

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - come up short

"to come up short"

to fail to win or achieve something;

to be deficient


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - come up short

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  How was your meeting with the boss?

Colleague 2:  He told me that my report came up short.

Colleague 1:  Where is it deficient?

Colleague 2:  I didn't provide enough supporting material for the growth claims that I made.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - come up short

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  Aren't you going to take your credit card to the grocery store?

Husband:  I've got some cash in my pocket.

Wife:  You don't want to come up short at the till.

Husband:  I will add up the prices of the groceries as I shop to make sure that I have enough money to pay for them.

to come up short - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,177   click for frequency by country

to come up short - Gerund Form:

Coming up short at the till can be embarrassing.

to come up short - Examples:

1)  ... it was a good result and although we wanted to win, we came up short. But we are still rebuilding and we only lost 1-0.

2)  Personal spending and PCE inflation met expectations, while personal income came up short.

3)  Obviously we tried to do that last year and we came up short, so we've a lot of work to do.

4)  BBC News came up short in its quest to find black toys and dolls in Nottingham's John Lewis store. None were to be found.

5)  He was pleasant and well-meaning, but came up short of passing muster as a program host and travel and pop culture tour guide.

6)  The same plan hadn't just come up short, it was undone. 

7)  ... doctors have been shown to provide excellent and conscientious care, while others come up short.

8)  ... and regulatory constraints for banks also are increasing the odds that borrowers will come up short when it's time to refinance.

9)  ... said both the fed and the province have come up short in the past on promised infrastructure spending.

10)  His reality is simple: Come up big, become a hero. Come up short, and people will question whether he can deliver when it matters.

11)  ... give yourself your best shot as opposed to playing the same way and coming up short.

12)  ... with coffers coming up short by one-third compared to a similar election cycle eight years ago. 

13)  ... hiking many miles in search of a decent image, and then almost coming up short in the 11th hour when things finally cleared up because of a silly amateurish mistake.

14)  He was very pleased despite coming up short of winning the event for the third time.

15)  Or that fear of coming up short by five or 10 cents at the checkout can easily be remedied by offering up ...

16)  ... will spend countless public dollars on shameless self-promoting advertisements, but comes up short when it comes to this tragic crisis.

17)  ... but at the very least could have been fun, this useless threequel comes up short in nearly every aspect.

18)  Canadian goalies seem to take the blame when Canada comes up short, but they rarely get the credit when Canada gets gold.

19)  Troy tries to do right by his children, but frequently comes up short.

20)  We can all criticize him if he comes up short or doesn't deliver. He signed up for that.