shorten

[ shawr-tn ]
/ ˈʃɔr tn /

verb (used with object)

to make short or shorter.
to reduce, decrease, take in, etc.: to shorten sail.
to make (pastry, bread, etc.) short, as with butter or other fat.
Sports. choke(def 8).

verb (used without object)

to become short or shorter.
(of odds) to decrease.

Origin of shorten

First recorded in 1505–15; short + -en1

SYNONYMS FOR shorten

1 condense, lessen, limit, restrict. Shorten, abbreviate, abridge, curtail mean to make shorter or briefer. Shorten is a general word meaning to make less in extent or duration: to shorten a dress, a prisoner's sentence. The other three terms suggest methods of shortening. To abbreviate is to make shorter by omission or contraction: to abbreviate a word. To abridge is to reduce in length or size by condensing, summarizing, and the like: to abridge a document. Curtail suggests deprivation and lack of completeness because of omitting some part: to curtail an explanation.
5 contract, lessen.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shorten

British Dictionary definitions for shorten

shorten

/ (ˈʃɔːtən) /

verb

to make or become short or shorter
(tr) nautical to reduce the area of (sail)
(tr) to make (pastry, bread, etc) short, by adding butter or another fat
gambling to cause (the odds) to lessen or (of odds) to become less

Derived Forms

shortener, noun
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