Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

abridge

play
verb \ə-ˈbrij\

Simple Definition of abridge

  • : to shorten (a book, a play, etc.) by leaving out some parts

  • : to lessen the strength or effect of (something, such as a right)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of abridge

abridged

abridging

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a archaic :  deprive b :  to reduce in scope :  diminish <attempts to abridge the right of free speech>

  3. 2 :  to shorten in duration or extent <modern transportation that abridges distance>

  4. 3 :  to shorten by omission of words without sacrifice of sense :  condense

abridger

noun

Examples of abridge in a sentence

  1. abridge a dictionary by omitting rare words

  2. <the library's hours have been drastically abridged to cut costs>



Origin and Etymology of abridge

Middle English abregen, from Anglo-French abreger, from Late Latin abbreviare, from Latin ad- + brevis short — more at brief


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of abridge

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration <shorten a speech>. curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy <ceremonies curtailed because of rain>. abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part <using an abbreviated title>. abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result <the abridged version of the novel>. retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive <declining business forced the company to retrench>.

ABRIDGE Defined for Kids

abridge

play
verb \ə-ˈbrij\

Definition of abridge for Students

abridged

abridging

  1. :  to shorten by leaving out some parts <abridge a dictionary>




Law Dictionary

abridge

play
transitive verb \ə-ˈbrij\

Legal Definition of abridge

abridged

abridging

  1. :  to diminish or reduce in scope <no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States — U.S. Constitution amend. XIV>

abridgment

or

abridgement

noun




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abridge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

vernal estival brumal hiemal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ