brevi-, brev- [brie-, bri-] +

(Latin: short; shorten, make shorter, shortened)

abbreviate (uh BREE vi ayt) (verb), abbreviates; abbreviated; abbreviating
1. To shorten a word by leaving out some of its letters or sounds: Jonathan decided he would be abbreviating his name to "Jon".
2. To shorten a piece of text by cutting out sections or paraphrasing it, as in abridging or shortening: The speaker abbreviated his lecture so the audience could go home before the thunderstorm started.
3. Etymology: the -brev- in abbreviate, abbreviates, etc. came from Latin brevis, meaning "short", which is also the source of the word brief; therefore, abbreviate means "to make briefer, to make shorter" by combining or omitting elements of the contents of a verbal or a written message.
abbreviated (uh BREE vi ay” tid) (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Pertaining to that which has been cut short in duration or length: Peter made the most abbreviated speech that anyone could recall after he lost the election.
2. Regarding the reduction of a word or a name to a shorter form: The abbreviated form for the "United States of America" is "U.S.A."; the more abbreviated form is the "U.S."; for "Doctor", it's "Dr.", and an abbreviated example of "business" is the informal term of "biz".
abbreviation (uh bree” vi AY shuhn) (s) (noun), abbreviations (pl)
1. The result of reducing something, such as a form or a short summary: The Executive Summary of the report was a good abbreviation of the full financial report.
2. A shortened form of a spoken word, or written symbol; a part of a word or symbol standing for the whole: There are many abbreviations for title words and one common abbreviation is Mr. for Mister.

A very familiar abbreviation is "etc." which is the abbreviation for "et cetera" meaning "and the rest", "and others", "and so forth" which is used at the end of a list to indicate that other items of the same class or type should be considered or included.

abbreviator (uh BREE vi ay” tuhr) (s) (noun), abbreviators (pl)
Someone who abridges something that has been written by another person: As an editor, Kirk was a strict abbreviator and he supervised a team of abbreviators who worked on short stories for the magazine.
abridge (verb), abridges; abridged; abridging
1. To shorten; to make shorter, to cut short in its duration, to decrease the duration of; originally of time, or things occupying time: Patricia wants to abridge the long essay into a shortened, easily read format.

Taking a shortcut in the city abridges the time the couple needs to get to the city in time for the concert.

The doctor is abridging his discussion about the operation because the audience appears to be tired or bored.

Bryan will abridge his original speech from five pages to just one page.

2. To abbreviate words, while retaining the sense and substance of the written text; to condense, to epitomize: The book was abridged to a more readable length.

Within the past few years, publishers have found it necessary to abridge many classics in order to attract a greater reading public.

3. To produce by summarizing a larger work to a condensed form: The mayor agreed to abridge his comments to accommodate the featured speaker's schedule.
4. To curtail, to diminish rights, privileges, advantages, or authority: No one should be able to abridge your legal rights.
5. Etymology: from Middle English abregen and Old French abregier, abreger, "to shorten"; from Latin abbreviare, "abbreviate"; from Latin ab-, "from, away from" +breviare, "to shorten".

Abridge and abbreviate both carry the idea of shortening so that what remains adequately represents the whole.

To abridge suggests the "cutting away" of nonessentials while keeping the most important meanings. To abbreviate is generally used in reference to words or phrases, or it implies shortening by the compression or omission of parts while the remainder stands for the whole, in other words to abridge a novel for its inclusion in a magazine.

—Compiled from information located in
Choose the Right Word, a Modern Guide to Synonyms
by S.I. Hayakawa; Harper & Row, Publishers; New York; 1968; page 546.
To reduce the length of a written work.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more Mickey Bach illustrations.

abridged (adjective)
1. Shortened; to decrease, condense, digest: "The book was abridged to a more readable length."
2. Restricted, limited, curtailed, diminished, or someone who has been deprived of something: "No one should be allowed to abridge citizens of their legal rights."
3. A reference to a book, play, etc. that has been made shorter or condensed from the original but which contains the same basic story.
abridger (s) (noun), abridgers (pl)
Anyone who abridges, shortens, reduces the length, or who makes abridgments of a written text; a summarizer, synoptist, or a compiler.
abridgment (s) (noun), abridgments (pl)
1. The act or process of reducing; a shortening of time or labor; a curtailment of privileges: The city council voted for an abridgment of the mayor's power.
2. A compendium of a larger work, with the details and less important things omitted, but retaining the sense and substance; an epitome, or abstract: Did you see the new abridgment of Gibbon's Roman History?

The professor really liked the abridgment of the latest novel by his favorite writer that was published in the newspaper.

3. Etymology: Abridgment, or abridgement was borrowed from Old French abregement, from abregier, "to shorten, to diminish"; from Latin abbreviare, "to make short".
breve (s) (noun), brevia (pl)
1. A summary, a short code of instructions, etc.
2. A writ by which a person is summoned to answer an action, a complaint, etc. in a court of law.
3. A small curved diacritical mark, u curved or like a tiny smile, placed over a vowel to signify that the vowel has a short sound; with such words as: cat, pet, sit, hot, up, and cut.
brevet (adjective)
A reference to having a higher rank without an increase in pay.
brevet (s) (noun), brevets (pl)
An official document granting certain privileges from a sovereign or government; specifically, in the army, a document conferring nominal rank on an officer, but giving no right to extra pay: "As a Captain in the army, Erick was given a temporary commission as a colonel without the related pay and allowances."
brevet (verb), brevets; breveted; breveting
To be promoted in rank or a position without a pay increase.
breviary (s) (noun), breviaries (pl)
1. A brief statement, summary, epitome.
2. In the Roman Catholic Church, the book containing the "Divine Office" for each day, which those who are in orders are bound to recite.
brevicaudate (adjective)
Having a short tail or short-tailed.
brevicollis (s) (noun)
An abnormal shortness of the neck.