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abbreviate

[uh-bree-vee-eyt]
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verb (used with object), ab·bre·vi·at·ed, ab·bre·vi·at·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to reduce (anything) in length, duration, etc.; make briefer: to abbreviate a speech.
verb (used without object), ab·bre·vi·at·ed, ab·bre·vi·at·ing.
  1. to use abbreviations.

Origin of abbreviate

1400–50; late Middle English abbreviaten < Late Latin abbreviātus shortened (past participle of abbreviāre), equivalent to Latin ad- ad- + breviātus (brevi(s) short + -ātus -ate1)
Related formsab·bre·vi·a·tor, noun

Synonyms

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See shorten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for abbreviator

Historical Examples

  • Some of the chapters, of which the Greek is lost, have been preserved to us by his abbreviator Moschion.

    Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times

    John Stewart Milne


British Dictionary definitions for abbreviator

abbreviate

verb (tr)
  1. to shorten (a word or phrase) by contraction or omission of some letters or words
  2. to shorten (a speech or piece of writing) by omitting sections, paraphrasing, etc
  3. to cut short
Derived Formsabbreviator, noun

Word Origin

C15: from the past participle of Late Latin abbreviāre, from Latin brevis brief
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for abbreviator

abbreviate

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper