- to shorten (a word or phrase) by contraction or omission of some letters or words
- to cut short
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
- to shorten (a word or phrase) by omitting letters so that the shortened form stands for the whole word or phrase[usually: be + ~-ed + to]United Nations is frequently abbreviated to UN.
- to make briefer:He abbreviated his speech.
v., -at•ed, -at•ing.
- to shorten (a word or phrase) by omitting letters, substituting shorter forms, etc., so that the shortened form can represent the whole word or phrase, as ft. for foot, ab. for about, R.I. for Rhode Island, NW for Northwest, or Xn for Christian.
- to reduce (anything) in length, duration, etc.;
make briefer:to abbreviate a speech.
- to use abbreviations.
- Late Latin abbreviātus shortened (past participle of abbreviāre), equivalent. to Latin ad- ad- + breviātus (brevi(s) short + -ātus -ate1)
- late Middle English abbreviaten 1400–50