1. slang Unprepared for a certain situation, often one involving money. I was caught short at the restaurant, so I had to borrow money from my mom.
2. slang Pregnant when one is not married. I think that Heather has missed so much school because she's caught short.
3. slang Having an urgent need to use the toilet. I always go to the bathroom before a long drive, to avoid being caught short.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. left without any money temporarily. I'm caught a little short. Can I borrow a few bucks?
2. pregnant and unmarried. Both of Jane's sisters got caught short before they graduated high school.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Found to be lacking something one needs, especially money, as in Can you pay the check? I seem to be caught short. This idiom uses short in the sense of "lacking money," a usage dating from the early 1500s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.