Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make short or shorter.
  • transitive v. Nautical To take in (a sail) so that less canvas is exposed to the wind, thereby reducing speed.
  • transitive v. To reduce in force, efficacy, or intensity.
  • transitive v. To add shortening to (dough) so as to make flaky.
  • intransitive v. To become short or shorter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make shorter; to abbreviate.
  • v. To become shorter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To become short or shorter
  • transitive v. To make short or shorter in measure, extent, or time
  • transitive v. To reduce or diminish in amount, quantity, or extent; to lessen; to abridge; to curtail; to contract
  • transitive v. To make deficient (as to); to deprive; -- with of.
  • transitive v. To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, pot liquor, or the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become short or shorter; contract; diminish in length: as, ropes shorten when wet.
  • To make anything short: used with in in the nautical phrase to shorten in on the cable, to heave in short or shorter.
  • To come short; fail.
  • To make short or shorter; abridge; curtail: as, to shorten hours of work; to shorten the skirt of a dress.
  • To make appear short: as, pleasant companionship shortens a journey; a concave mirror shortens the face.
  • Figuratively, to make inefficient or incapable. Compare short-armed.
  • To take in; contract; lessen in extent or amount: as, to shorten sail; to shorten an allowance.
  • To check; confine; restrain.
  • To deprive.
  • To cause to come short or fail.
  • To make short or friable, as pastry with butter or lard.
  • To pronounce or measure as short: as, to shorten a vowel or syllable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make short or shorter
  • v. make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
  • v. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
  • v. become short or shorter
  • v. edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate

Etymologies

short +‎ -en (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.