Synonyms & Antonyms of abbreviate

to make less in extent or duration
  • had to abbreviate his vacation in France in order to travel to Oslo to receive the Nobel Prize

Synonyms for abbreviate

Words Related to abbreviate

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Antonyms for abbreviate

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Frequently Asked Questions About abbreviate

How is the word abbreviate different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of abbreviate are abridge, curtail, retrench, and shorten. While all these words mean "to reduce in extent," abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part.

using an abbreviated title

In what contexts can abridge take the place of abbreviate?

The synonyms abridge and abbreviate are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When would curtail be a good substitute for abbreviate?

While the synonyms curtail and abbreviate are close in meaning, curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy.

ceremonies curtailed because of rain

Where would retrench be a reasonable alternative to abbreviate?

In some situations, the words retrench and abbreviate are roughly equivalent. However, retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive.

declining business forced the company to retrench

When might shorten be a better fit than abbreviate?

The words shorten and abbreviate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, shorten implies reduction in length or duration.

shorten a speech

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Time Traveler for abbreviate

Time Traveler

The first known use of abbreviate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Abbreviate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on abbreviate

Nglish: Translation of abbreviate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abbreviate for Arabic Speakers


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