- to shorten (a word or phrase) by omitting letters, substituting shorter forms, etc., so that the shortened form can represent the whole word or phrase, as ft. for foot, ab. for about, R.I. for Rhode Island, NW for Northwest, or Xn for Christian.
- to reduce (anything) in length, duration, etc.; make briefer: to abbreviate a speech.
- to use abbreviations.
Origin of abbreviate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for abbreviate
And it's easier to delay something than to make something happen, so things tended to elongate rather than abbreviate.Donald Rumsfeld on What Went Right
February 8, 2011
"Well, abbreviate 'community,' that's the longest word," suggested Dick.Marjorie's Busy Days
It is common, however, to abbreviate them in a manner peculiarly Malay.A Manual of the Malay language
William Edward Maxwell
Page 289: "Ben: Perley Poore" did abbreviate his first name with a colon.Abraham Lincoln
William Eleroy Curtis
She thought his name long, but had not yet decided how to abbreviate it.To Leeward
F. Marion Crawford
There are a number of words which we abbreviate or contract, in our every-day use.Plain English
- to shorten (a word or phrase) by contraction or omission of some letters or words
- to shorten (a speech or piece of writing) by omitting sections, paraphrasing, etc
- to cut short
Word Origin and History for abbreviate
mid-15c., from Latin abbreviatus, past participle of abbreviare "to shorten" (see abbreviation). Also sometimes 15c. abbrevy, from Middle French abrevier (14c.), from Latin abbreviare. Related: Abbreviated; abbreviating.