English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English abreggen, abregge, abrigge (curtail, lessen),[1] from Old French abregier, abreger, from Late Latin abbreviō, abberiāre (make brief).[2] Doublet of abbreviate.

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]
  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, Samuel Johnson, 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:
      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, chapter 3, in Billy Budd:
      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 someone of his rights.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

  1. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], →ISBN), page 5
  2. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief, William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abridge”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, 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), page 4

Anagrams edit