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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make shorter; to abbreviate.
  • verb intransitive To become shorter.

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

short +‎ -en



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