A final set of nominees for a position, commission or award, from which the final selection is to be made. According the the Oxford English Dictionary, the now common verb form short-listed first appeared in 1961. The term is most associated with the Man Booker Prize, and appropriately so, since the prize (for best novel of the year “written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe”) also has a prestigious “longlist” of twelve or thirteen books, from which the short list of six is chosen. Otherwise, it’s (merely) a synonym for nominee or finalist.
The distinguished critic R.Z. Sheppard, for his part, is short-listed by People magazine as one of the “Most Intriguing People of 2001,” although, frankly, I can’t quite see it. (Lance Morrow, Time, December 27, 200)/A literary establishment that had never so much as short-listed one of [David Foster Wallace's] books for a national prize now united to declare him a lost national treasure. (Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, April 18, 2011)