\ 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 task fell to James Shapiro, a Columbia University English professor and Shakespeare scholar who is known for his work abridging the Bard’s plays. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Philip Roth’s ‘Plot’ Thickens With Marathon Reading," 21 Oct. 2018 For example, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and the feds should certainly shoot down any state law that abridges that right. WSJ, "Federal Incursion Explains Growth of Double Jeopardy," 13 Dec. 2018 Gabriel Gorodetsky’s edition — abridged and unabridged — is a work for the ages. New York Times, "Niall Ferguson: By the Book," 11 Jan. 2018 Frazier added that Cruz is looking to find ways to prosecute those who buy guns illegally, address mental health issues and make sure crimes are reported to the NICS database without abridging the Second Amendment. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Cruz caught in election-year bind on gun control," 5 Mar. 2018 Granted, his short speech inevitably abridged the long-form document. David Frum, The Atlantic, "A National-Security Strategy Devoid of Values," 12 Dec. 2017 The couple has filed their own claim, alleging that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John Russo's restraining order is abridging their free speech rights. Phillip Morris, cleveland.com, "President Trump gave a speech on race and few people heard it: Phillip Morris," 13 Dec. 2017 The idea is to prevent companies from exporting surveillance software to authoritarian regimes that could use these tools to abridge civil liberties and abuse human rights. Kendall Hoyt, Slate Magazine, "What Biosecurity and Cybersecurity Research Have in Common," 17 Mar. 2017 Editor’s note: In certain cases, daters’ answers have been abridged for space and clarity. David Perloff, Pacific San Diego Magazine, "Blind date: Beauty and the feast," 1 Nov. 2017

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

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on abridge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abridge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abridge

Spanish Central: Translation of abridge

Nglish: Translation of abridge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abridge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on abridge

What made you want to look up abridge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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