The definition is still the same. It is just that the outcome is a loss instead of a gain. That means you sold at a price that is less than the acquisition price. If financial assets like Stocks & equity mutual funds are held for less than 12 months then an investor will make either Short Term Capital Gain (or) Short Term Capital Loss on that investment depending on the price at which the asset is sold. This definition is only valid for equity shares that were purchased on a recognized stock exchange and where the STT has paid on the transaction. However, this definition stands modified to 24 months in case of unlisted shares of companies, where the question of STT does not arise.

If non-financial assets (typically property, land, building, gold, jewellery) and some financial assets like Debt Mutual Funds, Gold ETFs, and Fund of Funds etc. are held for less than 36 month, then the investor will make either Short Term Capital Gain (or) Short Term Capital Loss on that investment. However, effective from the Assessment year 2019-10, the definition holding period for residential property for short term has been reduced from 36 months to 24 months.