abridge

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English abreggen(curtail, lessen), abregge, abrigge,[1] from Old French abregier abreger, from Late Latin abbrevio(make brief), from Latin ad + brēvio(shorten).[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

abridge ‎(third-person singular simple present abridges, present participle abridging, simple past and past participle abridged)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To deprive; to cut off. [First attested from around (1150 to 1350)][3]
  2. (transitive, archaic, rare) To debar from. [First attested from around (1150 to 1350)][3]
  3. (transitive) To make shorter; to shorten in duration or extent. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Smollett, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      The bridegroom ... abridged his visit.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Fuller, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      She retired herself to Sebaste, and abridged her train from state to necessity.
  4. (transitive) To shorten or contract by using fewer words, yet retaining the sense; to epitomize; to condense[First attested in 1384.][4]. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][3]
    • 1911, 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica - Johnson, Samuel
      It was still necessary for the man who had been formerly saluted by the highest authority as dictator of the English language to supply his wants by constant toil. He abridged his Dictionary. He proposed to bring out an edition of Shakespeare by subscription, and many subscribers sent in their names and laid down their money; but he soon found the task so little to his taste that he turned to more attractive employments.
    • 1891, Henry Melville, Billy Budd Chapter 3
      Such an episode in the Island's grand naval story her naval historians naturally abridge; one of them (G.P.R. James) candidly acknowledging that fain would he pass it over did not "impartiality forbid fastidiousness."
  5. (transitive) Cut short; truncate. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][3]
  6. (transitive) To curtail. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470)][3]
    He had his rights abridged by the crooked sheriff.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (deprive): Usually used with to or sometimes with from as, to abridge one of his rights.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 5
  2. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 8
  4. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 4