make short work of (someone or something)

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make short work of (someone or something)

To deal with, finish, or dispose of someone or something very quickly or handily. We'll make short work of this project now that you've joined the team. You made short work of that book you were reading. You must have liked it! Everyone is expecting the team to make short work of their opponents in the upcoming match.
See also: make, of, short, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make short work of someone or something

 and make fast work of someone or something
to finish with someone or something quickly. I made short work of Tom so I could leave the office to play golf. Billy made fast work of his dinner so he could go out and play.
See also: make, of, short, work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

make short work of

Complete or consume quickly, as in The children made short work of the ice cream, or They made short work of cleaning up so they could get to the movies. This term, first recorded in 1577, in effect means "to turn something into a brief task."
See also: make, of, short, work
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.

make short work of something

1. If you make short work of something, you deal with it or complete it quickly and easily. His car made short work of the steep hills. A spray paint will make short work of painting awkward objects.
2. If you make short work of someone or something, you defeat them, destroy them or get rid of them quickly and easily. Britain's No 2, Greg Rusedski made short work of his opponent in the Toulouse Open quarter-final. My friend made short work of the salad of rocket and parmesan.
See also: make, of, short, something, work
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

make short work of

accomplish, consume, or destroy quickly.
See also: make, of, short, work
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

make short ˈwork of something/somebody

do or finish something very quickly; defeat somebody very easily: The children certainly made short work of the chocolate biscuits!The champion made very short work of the challenger in the title fight.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

make short work of, to

To dispose of something with dispatch. This term, too, is an old one, recorded as far back as 1577, when it appeared in John Grange’s The Golden Aphroditis (“Desirous to make shorte worke thereof ”). A later use was in E. Clodd’s Myths and Dreams (1885): “Criticism has made short work of the romancing chronicles which so long did duty for sober history”(cited by the OED). It is often used jocularly. See also short shrift.
See also: make, short, to, work
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
WARWICKSHIRE'S seamers made short work of Cardiff MCCU's batting on the opening day of the three-day friendly at Edgbaston.
Opening the innings, Cook made 80, as his team made short work of their target.
The British No.1, left, came through a first set featuring six breaks of serve in just nine games and made short work of the second as she broke twice more.
Doherty made short work of beating his good friend and fellow 40-year-old Joe Swail 10-1 in the final round of qualifying.
Backed down to 7-4 favourite, Walk On Bye (3.40) made short work of Ledley in soft going.
The Slovakian 20-year-old, ranked 58th in the world, had never reached an WTA final before but made short work of her Chinese opponent, wrapping up a 6-0 7-6 (7/2) victory in 73 minutes.
Keith Pepper made short work of his billiards game for the Cons, making 64 and 40 breaks.
A team effort made short work of traffic troubles in a busy North East market town.
Bottom club Carlisle claimed their first win of the season 3-2 against Rochdale, while newly-promoted Yeovil made short work of highflying York, claiming a 3-0 victory.
Staffordshire made short work of Shropshire as they qualified in style for the ECB 38-County Cup quarter-finals.
Enqvist, seeded second in Basle, made short work of Henman, who had won this tournament in 1998 and reached the final last year.
The Green Archers made short work of University of Santo Tomas and former coach Aldin Ayo, 72-49, while the Red Lions, the reigning three-time NCAA champions, turned back shorthanded University of the Philippines, 75-66, on Sunday afternoon.
Opener Usman Khan made short work of the small target by blasting 61 with the aid of five fours and three sixes as Alamgir Gymkhana romped home in only 9.3 overs.
Nazim Mohammed (6-45) and Greg Coogan (3-19) made short work of Old Xavs' batting, the home side being rolled for 82 in 45 overs.
Lumiere 2.30 York SP forecast 5-4 Plenty seemed to know she was smart before her debut in a 6f maiden at Newmarket last month and, after going off a heavily backed 6-5 favourite, she made short work of her rivals to win impressively by six lengths.