Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To reduce the length of (a written text); condense: synonym: shorten.
  • transitive verb To limit; curtail.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make shorter; curtail: as, “abridged cloaks,” Scott, Ivanhoe, xiv. To shorten by condensation or omission, or both; rewrite or reconstruct on a smaller scale; put the main or essential parts of into less space: used of writings: as, Justin abridged the history of Trogus Pompeius.
  • To lessen; diminish: as, to abridge labor.
  • To deprive; cut off: followed by of, and formerly also by from: as, to abridge one of rights or enjoyments.
  • In algebra, to reduce, as a compound quantity or equation, to a more simple form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make shorter; to shorten in duration; to lessen; to diminish; to curtail
  • transitive verb To shorten or contract by using fewer words, yet retaining the sense; to epitomize; to condense.
  • transitive verb To deprive; to cut off; -- followed by of, and formerly by from.

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

  • verb lessen, diminish, or curtail
  • verb reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

Etymologies

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

[Middle English abregen, from Old French abregier, from Late Latin abbreviāre, to shorten; see abbreviate.]

Examples

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