Definition of abridge in English:



  • 1Shorten (a book, movie, speech, or other text) without losing the sense.

    ‘the cassettes have been abridged from the original stories’
    ‘an abridged text of his speech’
    • ‘Dharma has plans for a 300-page abridged version of the book.’
    • ‘Unlike the Pappenheim version, the 1913 printing had a fine introduction, notes and index, albeit abridged and reworked under the editorship of Alfred Feilchenfeld.’
    • ‘A one-volume abridged edition, the basis of this publication, was published in hardback in 1992.’
    • ‘What follows is an edited and slightly abridged version of an interview conducted in London in October 2003.’
    • ‘The magic of the original isn't dulled in this carefully abridged volume of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway award.’
    • ‘The original six hour series had been abridged into two hours and you could feel that the pacing was rushed (something that was somehow avoided in the 1955 remake).’
    • ‘To begin with, the new publishers were content to reprint and to produce abridged volumes.’
    • ‘My necessarily abridged synopsis of the play does a complicated and layered work little justice, so you'll have to just take my word that this is a masterful production that has it all.’
    • ‘The Scherzo capriccioso, abridged in this recording in order to fit on two 78 rpm sides, was recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1930.’
    • ‘Because some of these emails are so long I have abridged several but provided a link to the full email.’
    • ‘To make things worse, commercially available audio books are usually abridged and twice as expensive as the print version.’
    • ‘Edward E. Ericson, Jr., is a professor of English at Calvin College, and a Solzhenitsyn scholar who abridged The Gulag Archipelago in cooperation with the author.’
    • ‘They are edited, abridged, and slightly simplified and represent a fraction of their original length.’
    • ‘Wonderfully constructed narratives, such as the patriarchal stories of Genesis, are reduced and abridged as to make many of them incomprehensible.’
    • ‘It's definitely not abridged in any way, shape or form.’
    • ‘If Polanski's Twist can be faulted for anything, it's perhaps in presenting a version of the novel that feels ever so slightly abridged.’
    • ‘Does it matter to you if the book you read is abridged or unabridged?’
    • ‘He has the full-length book, various abridged versions of the book, the video, the CD, the CD-ROM and the DVD.’
    • ‘He began ‘treating’ the book, radically abridging the overripe text with poems ‘found’ within each page and distributed over it in blurbs something like speech bubbles.’
    • ‘Even when the permanent Victoria Theatre opened at Sydney in 1838, its operatic productions were at first brutally abridged, translated, and arranged with music more easily at hand.’
    shortened, cut, cut short, cut down, concise, condensed, contracted, compressed, abbreviated, reduced, decreased, diminished, shrunk, curtailed, truncated, lessened, trimmed, cropped, clipped, pruned, pared down, stripped down, bare-bones, skeleton
    summarized, summary, abstracted, precised, synoptic, synopsized, digest, outline, thumbnail, sketch, edited, essential
    censored, bowdlerized, expurgated
    shorten, cut, cut down, cut short, curtail, truncate, lessen, trim, crop, clip, pare down, prune
    abbreviate, condense, contract, compress, reduce, decrease, diminish, shrink
    summarize, give a summary of, sum up, abstract, give an abstract of, precis, give a precis of, synopsize, give a synopsis of, digest, give a digest of, outline, give an outline of, sketch, put in a nutshell, edit
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Curtail (rights or privileges)

    ‘even the right to free speech can be abridged’
    • ‘No state could abridge those privileges or immunities, or deny any person due process or the equal protection of the law.’
    • ‘For example, according to the First Amendment, Congress shall make no law abridging free speech.’
    • ‘So I think we have an obligation to make sure that her rights are not in any way abridged.’
    • ‘I have the right to free speech, for example, and you can ask me to apologize for anything I say that offends you, and that request would have no bearing on whether my freedom of speech was being abridged.’
    • ‘The evidence clearly shows that the city's police powers are not abridged in any manner and that the agreement is expressly subject to the remedies available to the city under the Omaha Municipal Code.’


Middle English (in the sense deprive of): from Old French abregier, from late Latin abbreviare cut short (see abbreviate).