shorten

verb
short·​en | \ ˈshȯr-tᵊn How to pronounce shorten (audio) \
shortened; shortening\ ˈshȯrt-​niŋ How to pronounce shortening (audio) , ˈshȯr-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of shorten

transitive verb

1a : to reduce the length or duration of
b : to cause to seem short
2a : to reduce in power or efficiency is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem — Isaiah 50:2 (Revised Standard Version)
b obsolete : to deprive of effect
3 : to add fat to (something, such as pastry dough) in order to make tender and flaky

intransitive verb

: to become short or shorter

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Other Words from shorten

shortener \ ˈshȯrt-​nər How to pronounce shortener (audio) , ˈshȯr-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for shorten

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 shorten in a Sentence

shorten a pair of pants He had to shorten the speech. “Franklin D. Roosevelt” is often shortened to “FDR.”
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Recent Examples on the Web

Straps attached to the suit and the shoes shorten a person’s gait, making him walk more slowly and with shorter leg movements. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al.com, "Feeling old? So is Agnes," 5 June 2019 When play resumes Sunday, the stroke-play portion of the tournament will be shortened from 72 to 54 holes with stoke play wrapping up Monday. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Seawolves hand Raptors first home loss," 18 May 2019 The ad that made its way to television was shortened but—thank goodness—an extended version exists online. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Fans Think This 'Voice' Commercial Was Better Than Any of the Top 24 Performances," 30 Apr. 2019 Part of what made this cover possible has been editor MJ Day's incredible work to make the issue — shortened from Swimsuit to Swim this year — more inclusive. Allure, "Tyra Banks Just Made History as the Oldest Model to Cover Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue," 9 May 2019 If that happens, take a break, think about reengaging your core, and shorten your range of motion if needed, says Swan. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Work Your Entire Core With This Stability Ball Exercise From Celebrity Trainer Astrid Swan," 10 Apr. 2019 Most banks don’t consider Sunday a business day, but some do offer shortened hours in which customers can use teller services. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Are Banks Open on Good Friday This Year?," 11 Mar. 2019 The Stage 2 watering rules mainly shorten the hours when people can use irrigation systems, sprinklers and soaker hoses. Austin Horn, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio moves to Stage 2 outdoor watering limits," 11 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for shorten

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shorten

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

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More Definitions for shorten

shorten

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shorten

: to become shorter
: to make (something) shorter

shorten

verb
short·​en | \ ˈshȯr-tᵊn How to pronounce shorten (audio) \
shortened; shortening

Kids Definition of shorten

: to make or become short or shorter I shortened my trip.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shorten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shorten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shorten

Spanish Central: Translation of shorten

Nglish: Translation of shorten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shorten for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shorten

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