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  1. shortened; made briefer: The rain led to an abbreviated picnic.
  2. (of clothing) scanty; barely covering the body: an abbreviated bathing suit.
  3. constituting a shorter or smaller version of: The large car was an abbreviated limousine.

Origin of abbreviated

First recorded in 1545–55; abbreviate + -ed2
Related formsun·ab·bre·vi·at·ed, adjective


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 for abbreviate

See more synonyms for on
See shorten. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of abbreviated

Historical Examples of abbreviated

British Dictionary definitions for abbreviated


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 for abbreviate

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 abbreviated



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