- to make or become short or shorter
- (transitive) to reduce the area of (sail)
- (transitive) to make (pastry, bread, etc) short, by adding butter or another fat
- to cause (the odds) to lessen or (of odds) to become less
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
short•en /ˈʃɔrtən/USA pronunciation v.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- 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.
short•en (shôr′tn),USA pronunciation v.t.
- to make short or shorter.
- to reduce, decrease, take in, etc.:to shorten sail.
- Foodto make (pastry, bread, etc.) short, as with butter or other fat.
- Sportchoke (def. 8).
- to become short or shorter.
- (of odds) to decrease.
- 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
'shorten' also found in these entries:
abbreviate - abbreviatory - abridge - apocopate - boil - breviary - choke - clip - compress - contract - curtail - curtate - cut - cutback - diakinesis - extend - firm - foreshorten - kirtle - lengthen - let down - pinch - reduce - reef - retrench - sheepshank - shortening - stint - stretch - syncopate - take up - telescope - truncate - vernalize