Definition of abbreviate in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbrēvēˌāt/


[with object]
1Shorten (a word, phrase, or text): the business of artists and repertory, commonly abbreviated to A&R
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.
shorten, reduce, cut, contract, condense, compress, abridge, truncate, pare down, prune, shrink, telescope;
summarize, abstract, précis, synopsize, digest, edit
shortened, reduced, cut, condensed, abridged, concise, compact, succinct;
summary, thumbnail, capsule, synoptic
formal compendious
1.1Shorten the duration of; cut short: I decided to abbreviate my stay in Cambridge
More example sentences
  • Our military decision-making process was abbreviated.
  • 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.
  • Hodges had his stay abbreviated but will return in March for a couple of months.


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
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