Definition of abbreviate in English:



  • 1 Shorten (a word, phrase, or text)

    ‘‘network’ is often abbreviated to ‘net’’
    • ‘Around this time she met the famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and abbreviated her name to Dora Maar.’
    • ‘I wish subtitles didn't have to abbreviate the dialogue though.’
    • ‘I should probably explain that that's how Krista abbreviates her full name, which is Kristine.’
    • ‘‘You are so used to abbreviating things, you just start doing it unconsciously on schoolwork and reports and other things,’ said a student in New Jersey.’
    • ‘Due to the large numbers of those indicted, the court clerks eventually tired of writing the charge in full and began to abbreviate it.’
    • ‘When I'm composing my reviews, I often abbreviate the movie title, then use Microsoft Word's replace function to fill in the title in its entirety.’
    • ‘Here we greatly abbreviate our summary of the book to focus on its limitations.’
    • ‘The name is usually abbreviated to poliomyelitis, or more commonly, polio.’
    • ‘Europeans abbreviate dates in reverse, and doing it wrong could invalidate your card.’
    • ‘The summary that follows will be necessarily abbreviated.’
    • ‘When there are lots of documents to be signed, I choose to abbreviate my signature.’
    • ‘I've got to agree with her about people abbreviating words when sending text messages.’
    • ‘If you're registered with a username longer than five or six letters, it kindly abbreviates the name for this tab (said tab being a fixed width on screen, obviously).’
    • ‘Such an establishment was called a café concert or café conc’ (be careful not to abbreviate it further).’
    • ‘It isn't an easy read, mostly because the skinny format abbreviates names to three letters, often beyond recognition.’
    • ‘In order to save typing, many people will abbreviate common words and phrases.’
    shorten, reduce, cut, cut down, cut short, contract, condense, compress, abridge, truncate, clip, crop, pare down, prune, shrink, constrict, telescope, curtail
    summarize, abstract, precis, synopsize, digest, edit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Shorten the duration of; cut short.
      ‘I decided to abbreviate my stay in Cambridge’
      • ‘After being told by producers that a match would run long, abbreviating the Evening News, he mysteriously found someplace better to be, thus leaving the network with more than six minutes of dead air.’
      • ‘A workday abbreviated by siestas is a Spanish cliche, yet it is not necessarily rooted in reality.’
      • ‘The laparotomy was abbreviated because the patient was quite unstable intraoperatively.’
      • ‘Training hours are from 6 - 9 a.m. with Turfway abbreviating the period because it is concluding work on a new paddock and winner's circle.’
      • ‘This morning's FP3 session was abbreviated by 30 minutes due to the requirement for barrier repairs at Turn 11 following a support race incident earlier on.’
      • ‘With only two challenging teams, the race schedule would be abbreviated, likely removing many of the planned sailing days scheduled for July.’
      • ‘It is wrong to abbreviate the debate in the way suggested.’
      • ‘Hodges had his stay abbreviated but will return in March for a couple of months.’
      • ‘Our military decision-making process was abbreviated.’
      • ‘His third pro season, 2010-11, also saw him gravely injured, and 2012-13 was abbreviated by the lockout.’
      • ‘Testing can also be abbreviated if early success is obvious in a serious disease with no other good treatment.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin abbreviat- shortened, from the verb abbreviare, from Latin brevis short.