[ shawrt-ning, shawr-tn-ing ]
See synonyms for shortening on
  1. butter, lard, or other fat, used to make pastry, bread, etc., short.

  2. Phonetics. the act, process, or an instance of making or becoming short.

  1. Linguistics.

    • 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.

Origin of shortening

First recorded in 1535–45; shorten + -ing1

Words Nearby shortening Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shortening in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shortening


/ (ˈʃɔːtənɪŋ) /

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

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