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abbreviate Line breaks: ab¦bre¦vi|ate
Pronunciation: /əˈbriːvɪeɪt/

Definition of abbreviate in English:


[with object]
1Shorten (a word, phrase, or text): network’ is often abbreviated to ‘net’
More example sentences
  • I've got to agree with her about people abbreviating words when sending text messages.
  • In order to save typing, many people will abbreviate common words and phrases.
  • When there are lots of documents to be signed, I choose to abbreviate my signature.
1.1Shorten the duration of; cut short: I decided to abbreviate my stay in Cambridge
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • It is wrong to abbreviate the debate in the way suggested.
  • 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'.

  • brief from Middle English:

    Briefs or underpants, which were first worn in the 1930s, are literally ‘shorts’. Brief comes from the Latin word brevis, meaning ‘short’, a root shared by abbreviate (Late Middle English) and the musical note breve (Late Middle English), which used to mean a short note.

Words that rhyme with abbreviate

alleviate, deviate

Definition of abbreviate in:

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