Share this entry

Share this page


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'.

Definition of abbreviate in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ôrˈTHōəpē
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words