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

The odds on Green seeking some kind of exit have got to have shortened given the events over the past six months. Washington Post, "Philip Green’s #MeToo Moment of Reckoning," 18 Sep. 2019 The blow shortened his follow-through, the ball floated on him, and Darby easily fielded it. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Brees and Big Ben Concerns, the Ryan-Julio Hookup, Dak’s Magic and Poised Josh Allen: Week 2 in the NFL," 16 Sep. 2019 In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening on low heat, stirring constantly until completely melted. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Chocolate Apple Cat Faces," 13 Sep. 2019 But like the debate’s planners, Booker opted not to use his full time on climate change, shortening his response to go back to a previous question about foreign policy. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "It’s Not That Hard to Have a Substantive Exchange About Global Warming," 13 Sep. 2019 Since shortening his delivery during a two-month stint on the injured list, James struck out 10 hitters in four innings. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros struggle against A's for second straight night," 11 Sep. 2019 Test line fisheries at Cook Inlet might be shortened and tanner crab surveys at Prince William Sound could get the ax. Anchorage Daily News, "Breaking down the Alaska budget’s impact on commercial fisheries," 3 Sep. 2019 Cruise control While shortening and delaying vacations for some, the hurricane also meant extended cruises for other travelers. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "DisneyWorld, Legoland and other Orlando tourist parks close as Dorian nears Florida," 3 Sep. 2019 Hyman said his family still hasn’t found the best marijuana strains for Rebecca, though marijuana helps shorten the length of her seizures from as much as five hours to 20 minutes. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "What legalizing recreational marijuana would mean for Florida," 30 Aug. 2019

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

18 Oct 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

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