Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of abridge are abbreviate, curtail, retrench, and shorten. While all these words mean "to reduce in extent," 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 might abbreviate be a better fit than abridge?

The words abbreviate and abridge can be used in similar contexts, but abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part.

using an abbreviated title

When would curtail be a good substitute for abridge?

The meanings of curtail and abridge largely overlap; however, curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy.

ceremonies curtailed because of rain

When could retrench be used to replace abridge?

While in some cases nearly identical to abridge, retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive.

declining business forced the company to retrench

When is it sensible to use shorten instead of abridge?

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

shorten a speech

Thesaurus Entries Near abridge

Cite this Entry

“Abridge.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/abridge. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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