\ ə-ˈbrij How to pronounce abridge (audio) \
abridged; abridging

Definition of abridge

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

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Other Words from abridge

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 The Ninth Circuit has interpreted the case in a way that would allow states to abridge a business’s right to exclude people from its property. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 19 Mar. 2021 Indeed, at the most significant moments in African-American history, the Court reflected the most reactionary elements of the culture in its efforts to abridge, degrade, or simply eliminate the rights of African-Americans. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2020 A few hours later, the trio would depart for the airport to board a Sunday night flight back to Waters’ native Portland, his season abridged by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Hillel Kuttler, oregonlive, 30 Mar. 2020 Some of Avila’s answers have been abridged for length. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, 8 Mar. 2020 But the First Amendment prohibits the government, not private companies, from abridging people's free speech rights. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 5 Mar. 2020 The 19th amendment was a transformative constitutional amendment that guaranteed that the right of citizens to vote would not be denied or abridged by the government because of a person’s gender. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 14 Feb. 2020 To many of Zuckerberg’s critics, however, the First Amendment—which prohibits the government from abridging free speech—has nothing at all to do with a corporation like Facebook. Wired, 7 Nov. 2019 The result was an international hit, which did well even in the United States, where a dubbed and abridged version won an Oscar. Noel Murray, latimes.com, 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abridge.' 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 abridge

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for abridge

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

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Time Traveler for abridge

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

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Dictionary Entries Near abridge

Abri Audit



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Cite this Entry

“Abridge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abridge. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for abridge


\ ə-ˈbrij How to pronounce abridge (audio) \
abridged; abridging

Kids Definition of abridge

: to shorten by leaving out some parts abridge a dictionary


transitive verb
\ ə-ˈbrij How to pronounce abridge (audio) \
abridged; abridging

Legal Definition of abridge

: 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

Other Words from abridge

abridgment or abridgement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abridge

Nglish: Translation of abridge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abridge for Arabic Speakers


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