shortening

[ shawrt-ning, shawr-tn-ing ]
/ ˈʃɔrt nɪŋ, ˈʃɔr tn ɪŋ /

noun

butter, lard, or other fat, used to make pastry, bread, etc., short.
Phonetics. the act, process, or an instance of making or becoming short.
Linguistics.
  1. the act or process of dropping one or more syllables from a word or phrase to form a shorter word with the same meaning, as in forming piano from pianoforte or phone from telephone.
  2. clipped form.

Origin of shortening

First recorded in 1535–45; shorten + -ing1

Definition for shortening (2 of 2)

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 shortening

British Dictionary definitions for shortening (1 of 2)

shortening

/ (ˈʃɔːtənɪŋ) /

noun

butter, lard, or other fat, used in a dough, cake mixture, etc, to make the mixture short

British Dictionary definitions for shortening (2 of 2)

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 Formsshortener, 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