abridge Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
    reduce; cut; abbreviate; shorten; contract; foreshorten.
    • The manuscript must be shortened
  2. verb lessen, diminish, or curtail
    • the new law might abridge our freedom of expression


A*bridge" transitive verb
OE. abregen, OF. abregier, F. abréger, fr. L. abbreviare; ad + brevis short. See Brief and cf. Abbreviate.
imperfect & past participle Abridged present participle & verbal noun Abridging
  1. To make shorter; to shorten in duration; to lessen; to diminish; to curtail; as, to abridge labor; to abridge power or rights. "The bridegroom . . . abridged his visit." Smollett.
    She retired herself to Sebaste, and abridged her train from state to necessity. Fuller.
  2. To shorten or contract by using fewer words, yet retaining the sense; to epitomize; to condense; as, to abridge a history or dictionary.
  3. To deprive; to cut off; -- followed by of, and formerly by from; as, to abridge one of his rights.

Webster 1913