from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Summary, careless treatment; scant attention: These annoying memos will get short shrift from the boss.
- n. Quick work.
- n. A short respite, as from death.
- n. The brief time before execution granted a condemned prisoner for confession and absolution.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A quick rejection, especially one which is impolite and undertaken without proper consideration.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a brief and unsympathetic rejection
Originally, a rushed sacrament of confession (shrift) given to a prisoner who was to be executed very soon. (Wiktionary)