Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of retrench are abbreviate, abridge, curtail, and shorten. While all these words mean "to reduce in extent," retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive.

declining business forced the company to retrench

When is abbreviate a more appropriate choice than retrench?

While in some cases nearly identical to retrench, abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part.

using an abbreviated title

When is it sensible to use abridge instead of retrench?

The words abridge and retrench can be used in similar contexts, 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 can curtail be used instead of retrench?

In some situations, the words curtail and retrench are roughly equivalent. However, curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy.

ceremonies curtailed because of rain

When could shorten be used to replace retrench?

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

shorten a speech

Thesaurus Entries Near retrench

Cite this Entry

“Retrench.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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