One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An abbreviated or condensed form of a text, treatment of a subject, etc.; a brief account; an abridgement; a summary. Also figurative: a representation or embodiment of something in miniature; an epitome.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Acts of Parliament of Scotland. From post-classical Latin abbreviatura abridgement, epitome, written abbreviation from abbreviat-, past participial stem of abbreviare + classical Latin -ūra. Compare Middle French abreviature graphic abbreviation, Old Occitan abriviadura recording of a public act, Spanish abreviatura, Portuguese abreviatura, Italian abbreviatura.
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