UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈʃɔːrtən/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈʃɔrtən/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(shôrtn)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
short•en /ˈʃɔrtən/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to (cause to) become short or shorter: [+ object]She had a hard time shortening her ten-page paper.[no object]The summer seemed to have shortened just as it was getting to be fun.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
short•en  (shôrtn),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to make short or shorter.
  2. to reduce, decrease, take in, etc.:to shorten sail.
  3. Foodto make (pastry, bread, etc.) short, as with butter or other fat.
  4. Sportchoke (def. 8).

  1. to become short or shorter.
  2. (of odds) to decrease.
shorten•er, n. 
  • short + -en1 1505–15
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged condense, lessen, limit, restrict.
      Shorten, abbreviate, abridge, curtail mean to make shorter or briefer.
      Shorten is a general word meaning to make less in extent or duration:to shorten a dress, a prisoner's sentence.The other three terms suggest methods of shortening.
      To abbreviate is to make shorter by omission or contraction:to abbreviate a word.To abridge is to reduce in length or size by condensing, summarizing, and the like:to abridge a document.Curtail suggests deprivation and lack of completeness because of omitting some part:to curtail an explanation.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged contract, lessen.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
shorten /ˈʃɔːtən/ vb
  1. to make or become short or shorter
  2. (transitive) to reduce the area of (sail)
  3. (transitive) to make (pastry, bread, etc) short, by adding butter or another fat
  4. to cause (the odds) to lessen or (of odds) to become less
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