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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)

Full Definition of abridge

abridgedabridg·ing

  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

abridg·er noun

Examples of abridge

  1. abridge a dictionary by omitting rare words

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



Origin 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>.


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