Dictionary.com

shorten

[ shawr-tn ]
/ ˈʃɔr tn /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: shorten / shortened / shortening / shortens on Thesaurus.com

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.
QUIZ
CUDDLE UP! A COZY QUIZ ON FALL WORDS HAS ARRIVED
If autumn is your ideal season, spice up your repertoire of "fall" vocabulary with this quiz on some warm and vivid descriptive words for the season.
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to make a crackling sound; crackle”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of shorten

First recorded in 1505–15; short + -en1

synonym study for shorten

1. 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.

OTHER WORDS FROM shorten

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use shorten in a sentence

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 of shorten

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
FEEDBACK