Definition of abbreviate
: 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.”>
abbreviatorplay \-ˌā-tər\ noun
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.
Origin and Etymology of abbreviate
Middle English, from Late Latin abbreviatus, past participle of abbreviare — more at abridge
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of abbreviate
ABBREVIATE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up abbreviate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).