verb short·en \ˈshr-tən\

: to become shorter

: to make (something) shorter

short·enedshort·en·ing \ˈshrt-niŋ, ˈshr-tən-iŋ\

Full Definition of SHORTEN

transitive verb
a :  to reduce the length or duration of
b :  to cause to seem short
a :  to reduce in power or efficiency <is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem — Isa 50:2(Revised Standard Version)>
b obsolete :  to deprive of effect
:  to add fat to (as pastry dough) in order to make tender and flaky
intransitive verb
:  to become short or shorter
short·en·er \ˈshrt-nər, ˈshr-tən-ər\ noun

First Known Use of SHORTEN

14th century

Synonym Discussion of SHORTEN

shorten, curtail, abbreviate, abridge, retrench mean to reduce in extent. shorten implies reduction in length or duration <shorten a speech>. curtail adds an implication of cutting that in some way deprives of completeness or adequacy <ceremonies curtailed because of rain>. abbreviate implies a making shorter usually by omitting some part <using an abbreviated title>. abridge implies a reduction in compass or scope with retention of essential elements and a relative completeness in the result <the abridged version of the novel>. retrench suggests a reduction in extent or costs of something felt to be excessive <declining business forced the company to retrench>.

Rhymes with SHORTEN

SHORTEN Defined for Kids


verb short·en \ˈshr-tən\

Definition of SHORTEN for Kids

:  to make or become short or shorter <I shortened my trip.>


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