See also: Shorten

English edit

Etymology edit

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).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈʃɔːtən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈʃɔɹtən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)tən

Verb edit

shorten (third-person singular simple present shortens, present participle shortening, simple past and past participle shortened)

  1. (transitive) To make shorter; to abbreviate.
  2. (intransitive) To become shorter.
  3. (transitive) To make deficient (as to); to deprive (of).
    • 1697, Virgil, “Aeneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Spoiled of his nose, and shorten'd of his ears.
  4. (transitive) To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, etc.
  5. (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, []
  6. (baking, of pastries, transitive) To make crumbly.
    • 1894, Helen M. Laughlin, The Journal of Agriculture Cook Book, Journal of Agriculture Co., page 212:
      Corn flour makes delicious pie crust, and needs less lard to shorten it.
  7. (nautical, transitive) To take in the slack of (a rope).
  8. (nautical, transitive) To reduce (sail) by taking it in.

Synonyms edit

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