• synonyms


[fawr-shawr-tn, fohr-]
verb (used with object)
  1. Fine Arts. to reduce or distort (parts of a represented object that are not parallel to the picture plane) in order to convey the illusion of three-dimensional space as perceived by the human eye: often done according to the rules of perspective.
  2. to abridge, reduce, or contract; make shorter.
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Origin of foreshorten

First recorded in 1600–10; fore- + shorten
Related formsun·fore·short·ened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foreshortening

Historical Examples of foreshortening

  • But the circularity was evidently the effect of foreshortening.

    The Book of the Damned

    Charles Fort

  • And, for all that, the difficulty even of foreshortening is boldly faced.

  • Admire the foreshortening—the harmony—the repose—the expression, and all that.

    Lady Eureka, v. 2 (of 3)

    Robert Folkestone Williams

  • Artists admire greatly the foreshortening of the inclined posture.

  • By looking at them thus from below he gained an idea of foreshortening.

British Dictionary definitions for foreshortening


verb (tr)
  1. to represent (a line, form, object, etc) as shorter than actual length in order to give an illusion of recession or projection, in accordance with the laws of linear perspective
  2. to make shorter or more condensed; reduce or abridge
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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 foreshortening



c.1600, from fore- + shorten. Related: Foreshortened; foreshortening.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper