- 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
Synonyms for abbreviateSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for abbreviateabridge, compress, abort, truncate, trim, pare, cut, prune, clip, abstract, reduce, condense, contract, summarize, encapsulate, digest, restrict, curtail
Examples from the Web for abbreviate
Contemporary Examples of 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
Historical Examples of abbreviate
"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 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.