shrift

(redirected from shrifts)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

short shrift

a brief period of consideration of a person's ideas or explanations. They gave the reporter short shrift and got him out of the office. My plan got short shrift from the boarda ten-minute presentation; they then voted it down.
See also: short, shrift

short shrift, give

Also, get short shrift. Give (or receive) cursory attention or little time. For example, The architect made elaborate plans for the entry but gave short shift to the back of the house . Literally, shrift refers to confession to a priest, who gives absolution and penance, and short shrift to the brief time allowed for this sacrament to a prisoner before execution. Shakespeare so used it in Richard III (3:4), but it came to be used more loosely in succeeding centuries. [Late 1800s]
See also: give, short

get short shrift

COMMON If someone or something gets short shrift, they are treated very rudely or given very little attention. Unfortunately, these proposals are likely to get short shrift from the government. Anyone who complains will get short shrift from me. Note: You can also say that someone gives someone or something short shrift. When I was a waitress I gave short shrift to customers who got on my nerves. Such objections are likely to be given short shrift by the committee. Note: `Shrift' is an old word meaning confession to a priest. In the past, condemned criminals were allowed only a few minutes to make their confession before they were executed.
See also: get, short, shrift
References in classic literature ?
It did not take Michael long to learn this, and stray dogs got short shrift from him.
Back and back still his foeman bent him, until, with a roar of pain and of fury, the giant clanged his full length upon the boards, while the glimmer of a knife before the bars of his helmet warned him that short would be his shrift if he moved.
Ay" said he, "if they got hands on me, it would be a short shrift and a lang tow for Alan
There was abundance of circumstantial evidence against him, besides the direct testimony of Raffles and myself, and the wretch was shot at last with little ceremony and less shrift.