What does shorten mean?

Definitions for shorten
ˈʃɔr tnshort·en

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shorten.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shortenverb

    make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration

    "He shortened his trip due to illness"

  2. abridge, foreshorten, abbreviate, shorten, cut, contract, reduceverb

    reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

    "The manuscript must be shortened"

  3. shortenverb

    make short or shorter

    "shorten the skirt"; "shorten the rope by a few inches"

  4. shortenverb

    become short or shorter

    "In winter, the days shorten"

  5. bowdlerize, bowdlerise, expurgate, castrate, shortenverb

    edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate

    "bowdlerize a novel"


  1. shortenverb

    To make shorter; to abbreviate.

  2. shortenverb

    To become shorter.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Shortenverb

    Etymology: from short.

    Because they see it is not generally fit, or possible, that churches should frame thanksgivings answerable to each petition, they shorten somewhat the reins of their censure. Richard Hooker.

    Would you have been so brief with him, he would
    Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
    For taking so the head, the whole head’s length. William Shakespeare.

    To shorten its ways to knowledge, and make each perception more comprehensive, it binds them into bundles. John Locke.

    None shall dare
    With shorten’d sword to stab in closer war,
    But in fair combat. Dryden.

    War, and luxury’s more direful rage,
    Thy crimes have brought, to shorten mortal breath,
    With all the num’rous family of death. Dryden.

    Whatever shortens the fibres, by insinuating themselves into their parts, as water in a rope, contracts. Arbuthnot.

    We shorten’d days to moments by love’s art,
    Whilst our two souls
    Perceiv’d no passing time, as if a part
    Our love had been of still eternity. John Suckling.

    To be known, shortens my laid intent;
    My boon I make it, that you know me not. William Shakespeare.

    Here where the subject is so fruitful, I am shortened by my chain, and can only see what is forbidden me to reach. Dryd.

    The Irish dwell altogether by their septs, so as they may conspire what they will; whereas if there were English placed among them, they should not be able to stir but that it should be known, and they shortened according to their demerits. Edmund Spenser.

    Dishonest with lopt arms the youth appears,
    Spoil’d of his nose, and shorten’d of his ears. Dryden.


  1. shorten

    To shorten means to make or become less in length, duration, or extent; to reduce in size or amount. It can apply to physical objects, events, conversations, written materials, among others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shortenadjective

    to make short or shorter in measure, extent, or time; as, to shorten distance; to shorten a road; to shorten days of calamity

  2. Shortenadjective

    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

  3. Shortenadjective

    to make deficient (as to); to deprive; -- with of

  4. Shortenadjective

    to make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, pot liquor, or the like

  5. Shortenverb

    to become short or shorter; as, the day shortens in northern latitudes from June to December; a metallic rod shortens by cold

  6. Etymology: [See Short, a.]


  1. Shorten

    Shorten is a file format used for compressing audio data. It is a form of data compression of files and is used to losslessly compress CD-quality audio files. Shorten is no longer developed and other lossless audio codecs such as FLAC, Monkey's Audio, TTA, and WavPack have become more popular. However, Shorten is still in use by some people because there are legally traded concert recordings in circulation that are encoded as Shorten files. Shorten files use the .shn file extension.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shorten is ranked #31790 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shorten surname appeared 726 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Shorten.

    79.6% or 578 total occurrences were White.
    14.1% or 103 total occurrences were Black.
    2.3% or 17 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2% or 15 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for shorten »

  1. thrones

  2. hornets

  3. threnos

How to pronounce shorten?

How to say shorten in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shorten in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shorten in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of shorten in a Sentence

  1. Donald Trump:

    The media was not treating statements fairly. I mean they would chop them up and shorten the statement, and it didn’t sound proper, or it didn't sound as good when they did that, it was very unfair, now I’m doing it a little bit differently.

  2. Scott Morrison:

    The election will be called in April and the election will be held in May. We're not doing this with any haste and we're not doing it with any delay, i noticed Bill Shorten's frustration yesterday, but you know, that impatience is born of arrogance.

  3. Malcolm Turnbull:

    Bill Shorten is only interested in the politics of this issue.

  4. Lech Walesa:

    One should think about organizing (ourselves), press for a referendum, show in a referendum that two third are against such rule and shorten (parliament's) term.

  5. Ryan Pack:

    The Grocery Store Method: I want you to think of it like this: Everytime you adopt a child you shorten the checkout line and your one step closer to world peace, and everytime you have a biological child you lengthen the checkout line and your one step farther from world peace.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shorten

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"shorten." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shorten>.

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    having or resembling a stinger or barb
    A aculeate
    B proprietary
    C occlusive
    D ultimo

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