abridge

verb

abridged; abridging

transitive verb

1
: to shorten by omission of words without sacrifice of sense : condense
abridge a novel
an abridged dictionary
2
: to shorten in duration or extent
Tess wished to abridge her visit as much as possible …Thomas Hardy
3
formal : to reduce in scope : diminish
attempts to abridge the right of free speech
4
archaic : deprive
abridger noun
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of abridge in a Sentence

abridge a dictionary by omitting rare words the library's hours have been drastically abridged to cut costs
Recent Examples on the Web This text reflects that version, with the addition of some material that was abridged for print. Rights & Permissions Daniel Shailer is a climate reporter based in Pittsburgh. Daniel Shailer, Scientific American, 17 Jan. 2024 In particular, leaders in New Delhi feared that a too-powerful China could abridge the freedom and security of weaker neighbors. Robert D. Blackwill, Foreign Affairs, 12 Aug. 2019 Our freedoms are often abridged in the name of national security. ABC News, 24 Apr. 2024 Advertisement The 1st Amendment guarantees only that the government refrains from abridging freedom of speech. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2024 Though the show follows the same format as its counterparts, the United States and Australian versions have one thing in common — they are abridged seasons with only 22 to 38 episodes per season, rather than the typical 49 seen on the U.K. version. Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 30 Dec. 2023 The First Amendment promises that the government will not prohibit or abridge the freedom of speech, which includes speech that is considered offensive or hateful. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 15 Dec. 2023 Her outré garb does still incorporate some utilitarian basics of an in-office uniform: elastic shirring for movement and abridged sleeves. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 29 Sep. 2023 But because the headlines and other text in Cards are abridged to fit the format, the headlines often lack the intricacies of the a complete article (and, in the opinion of some critics, incentivize short, clickbait pitches). Bykylie Robison, Fortune, 22 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abridge.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English abreggen, abriggen "to reduce, diminish, shorten," borrowed from Anglo-French abreger, going back to Late Latin abbreviāre, from Latin ad- ad- + breviāre "to shorten, abridge," verbal derivative of brevis "short" — more at brief entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of abridge was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near abridge

Cite this Entry

“Abridge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abridge. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

abridge

verb
abridged; abridging
1
formal : to make less : diminish
forbidden to abridge the rights of citizens
2
: to shorten in duration or extent
3
: to shorten by omission of words : condense
abridger noun
Etymology

Middle English abregen "deprive, reduce," from early French abreger (same meaning), from Latin abbreviare "to shorten" — related to abbreviate

Legal Definition

abridge

transitive verb
abridged; abridging
: 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 StatesU.S. Constitution amend. XIV
abridgment noun
or abridgement

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