- 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 © 2015
- [usually: be + ~-ed + to] to shorten (a word or phrase) by omitting letters so that the shortened form stands for the whole word or phrase:United Nations is frequently abbreviated to UN.
- to make briefer:He abbreviated his speech.