abbreviate

verb
ab·bre·vi·ate | \ə-ˈbrē-vē-ˌāt \
abbreviated; abbreviating

Definition of abbreviate 

transitive verb

: to make briefer an abbreviated session an abbreviated version of the story especially : to reduce (a word or name) to a shorter form intended to stand for the whole You can abbreviate the word building as bldg. "United States of America" is commonly abbreviated to "USA."

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Other Words from abbreviate

abbreviator \-ˌā-tər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for abbreviate

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

Did You Know?

Abbreviate and abridge both mean "to make shorter," so it probably will come as no surprise that both derive from the Latin verb brevis, meaning "short." Abbreviate first appeared in print in English in the 15th century and derives from abbreviatus, the past participle of Late Latin abbreviare, which in turn can be traced back to brevis. Abridge, which appeared a century earlier, also comes from abbreviare but took a side trip through Anglo-French before arriving in Middle English as abregen. Brevis is also the ancestor of English brief itself, as well as brevity and breviary ("a prayer book" or "a brief summary"), among others.

Examples of abbreviate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Eagles also practiced at the far end of one field, many yards from where the media was permitted to stand, so today’s notes will be abbreviated and strictly in the form of a running diary. Jeff Mclane, Philly.com, "Eagles practice observations: Carson Wentz's arm strength; Philly Special redux; quarterback golf," 14 June 2018 That’s why the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-Comparison Exercise, abbreviated as IMBIE, was established in 2011. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "Antarctica’s ice is shrinking at an unprecedented rate that could imperil coastal regions worldwide," 13 June 2018 Founded by Al and Jerry Lapin in 1958, the International House of Pancakes abbreviated its name to IHOP in 1973. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "IHOP name change in the works? Restaurant chain plans transformation," 11 June 2018 In many years, the head coach either has canceled or significantly abbreviated that final session to reward players for their investment over the previous two-plus months. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Can Kevin White's passion and eagerness to learn catalyze his latest comeback attempt?," 6 June 2018 The program, called the A-10 Thunderbolt Advanced Continuation Kit (abbreviated as ATTACK), builds upon the previous Wing Replacement Program, which upgraded 173 A-10 aircraft between 2007 and 2016. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "More A-10s to get new wings, as Air Force officially launches ATTACK," 31 May 2018 The family later abbreviated the name to Nita’s Gumbo and opened a sit-down restaurant last February in the southwest suburbs (4153 W. 183rd St., Country Club Hills), where Doty’s painstakingly created, seafood-rich gumbo became an instant hit. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Funeral services Friday for Anita Doty, founder of Nita's Gumbo," 17 May 2018 If sweetness is your prime goal, choose varieties listed as supersweet (abbreviated as sh2 in seed catalogs), but keep in mind that these may not be as vigorous as other types of sweet corn. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Corn," 5 Apr. 2016 He was called the Hip Nip (employing a slur that abbreviates Nippon). Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "The Crane Kick Is Bogus: A Karate Kid Oral History," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abbreviate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abbreviate

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abbreviate

Middle English abbreviaten, borrowed from Late Latin abbreviātus, past participle of abbreviāre "to make shorter" — more at abridge

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Time Traveler for abbreviate

The first known use of abbreviate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for abbreviate

abbreviate

verb
ab·bre·vi·ate | \ə-ˈbrē-vē-ˌāt \
abbreviated; abbreviating

Kids Definition of abbreviate

: to make briefer : shorten

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