1 you can shorten your essay without losing its balance an invention that helped shorten the war
make shorter, abbreviate, abridge, condense, precis, synopsize, contract, compress, reduce, lessen, shrink, decrease, diminish, cut, cut down, cut short, dock, trim, clip, crop, pare down, prune; curtail, truncate; turn up, take up
[Antonyms] lengthen extend elongate
2 the days are shortening
get shorter, grow shorter, grow less, contract, compress, shrink
Choose the right word
shorten, abbreviate, abridge, truncate, curtail
Shorten is the most general term for reducing the length of duration of something ( the reforms had made progress in shortening hospital waiting lists | we are not allowed to give drugs to shorten life).The most common thing to be abbreviated is a word or phrase ( Hybrid Perpetual, abbreviated to H.P.). Something that does not last as long as was planned may be described as abbreviated, especially if the shortening is forced by circumstances and is seen as excessive or undesirable ( his abbreviated stay in Princeton), and the word can also be used of clothes created shorter than usual ( tight or abbreviated shorts are unacceptable).A text or other work that has been abridged has been made shorter by cutting out details while preserving the proportions or basic character of the original ( the editor reserves the right to abridge letters).To truncate something is to cut off one end ( a truncated pyramid). There is usually a sense that the item is mutilated as a result ( Tolkien found that the Old English being dished up was in a grossly truncated form), or that something has been brought to an end too soon ( further discussion was truncated by the arrival of tea).Something that is curtailed is typically restricted in scope, especially in freedom of action ( ill health probably curtailed his activities | contemporaries sought to curtail the influence of the Court), but the word is also used for an unplanned shortening in time ( rain forced us to curtail our visit).