• WordNet 3.6
    • v shorten edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate "bowdlerize a novel"
    • v shorten reduce in scope while retaining essential elements "The manuscript must be shortened"
    • v shorten become short or shorter "In winter, the days shorten"
    • v shorten make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration "He shortened his trip due to illness"
    • v shorten make short or shorter "shorten the skirt","shorten the rope by a few inches"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The name "cranberry" comes from German and Dutch settlers. The berry was intially called "crane berry." The reason it was called this was because when the flowers bloom, the petals of the flowers twist backwards and look very much like the head of a crane. Eventually the name was shortened down to be "cranberry."
    • v. i Shorten To become short or shorter; as, the day shortens in northern latitudes from June to December; a metallic rod shortens by cold.
    • Shorten To make deficient (as to); to deprive; -- with of. "Spoiled of his nose, and shortened of his ears."
    • Shorten To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, pot liquor, or the like.
    • Shorten To make short or shorter in measure, extent, or time; as, to shorten distance; to shorten a road; to shorten days of calamity.
    • Shorten To reduce or diminish in amount, quantity, or extent; to lessen; to abridge; to curtail; to contract; as, to shorten work, an allowance of food, etc. "Here, where the subject is so fruitful, I am shortened by my chain."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Intel is a shortened name for Integrated Electronics. The company's founders wanted to use the full name when they went into business in 1968, but it was already in use.
    • shorten To become short or shorter; contract; diminish in length: as, ropes shorten when wet.
    • shorten To make anything short: used with in in the nautical phrase to shorten in on the cable, to heave in short or shorter.
    • shorten To come short; fail.
    • shorten To make short or shorter; abridge; curtail: as, to shorten hours of work; to shorten the skirt of a dress.
    • shorten To make appear short: as, pleasant companionship shortens a journey; a concave mirror shortens the face.
    • shorten Figuratively, to make inefficient or incapable. Compare short-armed.
    • shorten To take in; contract; lessen in extent or amount: as, to shorten sail; to shorten an allowance.
    • shorten To check; confine; restrain.
    • shorten To deprive.
    • shorten To cause to come short or fail.
    • shorten To make short or friable, as pastry with butter or lard.
    • shorten To pronounce or measure as short: as, to shorten a vowel or syllable.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When potatoes first appeared in Europe in the seventeenth century, it was thought that they were disgusting, and they were blamed for starting outbreaks of leprosy and syphilis. As late as 1720 in America, eating potatoes was believed to shorten a person's life.
    • v.t Shorten to make short: to deprive: to make friable
    • ***


  • Benjamin Franklin
    “If you wouldn't live long, live well; for folly and wickedness shorten life.”
  • Bible
    “Envy and wrath shorten the life. [Ecclesiasticus]”
  • Buddha
    “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
  • Orison Swett Marden
    “A good system shortens the road to the goal.”
  • Charles Buxton
    Charles Buxton
    “To make pleasures pleasant shorten them.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “A long tongue shortens life.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Short (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sceort; Old High Ger. scurz; the Dut. and Sw. kort, Ger. kurz, are borrowed from L. curtus.


In literature:

This made him somewhat anxious, and he regretted that he had not shortened sail at first to allow her to come up.
"The Three Commanders" by W.H.G. Kingston
Pipe all hands to shorten cable!
"Crown and Anchor" by John Conroy Hutcheson
Twa folk may shorten a lang day to ane anither, but it's no ay done to edification.
"Allison Bain" by Margaret Murray Robertson
Pray tell me, now, how the gentleman, your grandfather, contrived to shorten the coin of these realms?
"The Romany Rye A Sequel to 'Lavengro'" by George Borrow
The buffo said they had made the experiment of shortening it.
"Castellinaria and Other Sicilian Diversions" by Henry Festing Jones
While he might have shortened the time by keeping a direct line to it, he stuck to his resolution not to turn aside from the trail.
"Deerfoot in The Mountains" by Edward S. Ellis
Care and discontent shortened the days of Little Margery's father.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
When a man marries he shortens sail usually, and pitches out some ballast, but not me at all.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
Shortening in the cable.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
It is wicked to desire to shorten our lives.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford

In poetry:

Thine eyes, Thine ear, they are not dull;
Thine arm can never shortened be;
Behold me here; my heart is full;
Behold, and spare, and succor me.
"When at Thy Footstool, Lord, I Bend" by Henry Francis Lyte
And thus, I said, may each storm that blow'd
Have shorten'd the way I come;
And shall I complain that the wave is rude,
If it bear me the sooner home?
"The Gale" by Caroline Fry
Here's an oak rail with a trappy ditch behind it,
And I feel the little beggar-shortening stride.
It's a big one, but I know he wouldn't mind it
Were it twice as big and half again as wide!
"A Gallop From The Train" by William Henry Ogilvie
But O, the swiftly shortening day!
Low in the west the sinking ray!
With rapid pace advancing still
“The morning hoar, the evening chill,”
The falling leaf, the fading year,
And Winter ambushed in the rear!
"An Autumnal Thought" by Anna Laetitia Aikin Barbauld
How I prayed day and night,—ay, with many a tear,—
“Lord, shorten the time till Thy champion appear!”
And if fearing or hoping myself to change blows
With the giant,—God bidden,—I know; and God knows!
"At the Fords Of Jordan" by Mary Hannay Foott
A boy has little to say about his hair
And little about a name like Ebenezer
Except that you can shorten either. Praise
God for that, for that shout Hallelujah.
Shout Hallelujah for everything a boy
Can be that is not his father or grandfather.
"Hallelujah: A Sestina" by Robert Francis

In news:

In addition to providing the tool to shorten the URLs , also lists the top 25 most-frequently clicked links that make use of the service, Godwin said.
A service for shortening URLs seems rather meaningless from a business perspective — after all, it's just an algorithm for associating short, unique identifiers with longer strings of text.
Kansas shortens waiting list for in-home medical care.
It seems certain that if 'The Wind' by the Zac Brown Band was playing nonstop in offices and job sites across the country, the work day could be shortened by four hours — but we'd all be just as productive.
At best, it appears the NHL will have a shortened 2012-13 season.
Clark, Madsen share lead at rain- affected European Tour season-opener on shortened course.
Fighting fires in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU wins storm-shortened opener.
Won title after lock-out shortened season.
ATP may shorten tour by 2-3 weeks in 2012.
Bryant completed pool play with a 4-0 record after a 12-2, mercy-rule shortened five-inning victory over Waite Park, Minn.
Barrels and grips are shortened for concealability, but that results in a shorter sight radius, which makes it harder to aim.
The holiday-shortened trading week was the best for stocks since early summer.
Economic Impact Of Shortened Ski Seasons.
Cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugars.
Bike week permit dates are closer to being shortened.

In science:

Now the list of diagrams can be shortened by unifying those which differ only in a photon, Z or Higgs boson propagator with the method Simplify().
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
On the other hand, for a counter-rotation, the valid parameter region with three sonic points at the disk shortens and thus the possibility of shock reduces.
Unification to the "Pseudo-General-Relativistic" analysis of accretion disks around rotating black holes and neutron stars
For 8CB-aerosil and 10CBaerosil the disorder has some effects which are equivalent to shortening the length of the molecule.
First order isotropic - smectic-A transition in liquid crystal-aerosil gels
We indicate how the original argument can be shortened.
Gorenstein projective dimension for complexes
In order to shorten notations, we will write N and ˆN for N (Rd × [−1, 1]) and N (Rd), respectively.
Mott law as lower bound for a random walk in a random environment