verb (used with object), ab·bre·vi·at·ed, ab·bre·vi·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.
verb (used without object), ab·bre·vi·at·ed, ab·bre·vi·at·ing.
- to use abbreviations.
- to shorten (a word or phrase) by contraction or omission of some letters or words
- to shorten (a speech or piece of writing) by omitting sections, paraphrasing, etc
- to cut short
mid-15c., from Latin abbreviatus, past participle of abbreviare “to shorten” (see abbreviation). Also sometimes 15c. abbrevy, from Middle French abrevier (14c.), from Latin abbreviare. Related: Abbreviated; abbreviating.