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

  • transitive v. To make shorter. See Synonyms at shorten.
  • transitive v. To reduce (a word or phrase) to a shorter form intended to represent the full form.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To reduce to lower terms, as a fraction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Abbreviated; abridged; shortened.
  • adj. Having one part relatively shorter than another or than the ordinary type.
  • n. An abridgment.
  • transitive v. To make briefer; to shorten; to abridge; to reduce by contraction or omission, especially of words written or spoken.
  • transitive v. To reduce to lower terms, as a fraction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make briefer; abridge; make shorter by contraction or omission of a part: as, to abbreviate a writing or a word.
  • In mathematics, to reduce to the lowest terms, as fractions.
  • To practise or use abbreviation.
  • Abbreviated.
  • n. An abridgment; an abstract.

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

  • v. shorten
  • v. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements


Middle English abbreviaten, from Late Latin abbreviāre, abbreviāt- : ad-, ad- + breviāre, to shorten (from brevis, short).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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