From Middle English shortnen, schortenen, equivalent to short + -en (verbal suffix). In some senses, a continuation (in altered form) of Middle English schorten (“to make short, shorten”), from Old English sċortian (“to become short”), from Proto-Germanic *skurtōną (“to shorten”).
shorten (third-person singular simple present shortens, present participle shortening, simple past and past participle shortened)
- (transitive) To make shorter; to abbreviate.
- 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Chapter 22
- York came round to our heads and shortened the rein himself, one hole I think; every little makes a difference, be it for better or worse, and that day we had a steep hill to go up.
- (intransitive) To become shorter.
- (transitive) To make deficient (as to); to deprive (of).
- Spoiled of his nose, and shorten'd of his ears.
- (transitive) To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, etc.
- (transitive) To reduce or diminish in amount, quantity, or extent; to lessen.
- to shorten an allowance of food
- 1699, John Dryden, Dedication to His Grace the Duke of Ormond
- Here, where the subject is so fruitful, I am shortened by my chain.
- 1858, George Borrow, The Romany Rye (volume 2, page 128)
- My grandfather, as I said before, was connected with a gang of shorters, and sometimes shortened money, […]
- (nautical, transitive) To take in the slack of (a rope).
- (nautical, transitive) To reduce (sail) by taking it in.
to make shorter
- Japanese: 縮める (ちぢめる, chijimeru), 短くする (ja) (みじかくする, mijikaku suru), 短縮する (ja) (たんしゅくする, tanshuku suru)
- Kazakh: қысқарту (qısqartw)
- Ladin: scurter
- Latin: curtō, breviō, abbreviō
- Latvian: īsināt, paīsināt, saīsināt
- Macedonian: крати (krati), куси (kusi), скратува (skratuva), скусува (skusuva)
- Maori: tukupoto, tāpoto, poro, tauporo, tīporo
- Norman: accourchi (Jersey)
- Polish: skracać (pl) impf, skrócić (pl) pf
- Portuguese: encurtar (pt)
- Romanian: scurta (ro)
- Russian: укора́чивать (ru) impf (ukoráčivatʹ), укороти́ть (ru) pf (ukorotítʹ); сокраща́ть (ru) impf (sokraščátʹ), сократи́ть (ru) pf (sokratítʹ)
- Scottish Gaelic: giorraich
- Serbo-Croatian: skratiti (sh), скратити
- Sicilian: accurzari (scn)
- Spanish: acortar (es), abreviar (es), reducir (es)
- Ukrainian: скоро́чувати impf (skoróčuvaty), скороти́ти pf (skorotýty)
- Welsh: byrhau (cy), cwtogi (cy)