[ US /ˈʃɔɹtən/ ]
[ UK /ʃˈɔːtən/ ]
  1. become short or shorter
    In winter, the days shorten
  2. make short or shorter
    shorten the rope by a few inches
    shorten the skirt
  3. edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
    bowdlerize a novel
  4. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
    The manuscript must be shortened
  5. make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
    He shortened his trip due to illness
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How To Use shorten In A Sentence

  • Klimt's tentative chalk and pencil strokes do little more than outline and emphasize the foreshortened legs, buttocks and genitalia of his subjects, their scrawled lifelessness compromising the images' erotic impact. Modernism's Austrian Rebels
  • Will this prolong the war in Afghanistan or shorten it? Times, Sunday Times
  • If you used the shortened form, you'd just say "in-laws' house", but since you're using the full form, it's correct to pluralise the noun and not the modifier ('parents' rather than 'in law'), and then make the entire term possessive, because it's acting as a noun cluster. ("parents-in-law's") The Skinny Kitten Story (In Which I Am Both A Liar And A Kitten Thief)
  • In a heavy 10-inch skillet heat 1 tablespoon shortening or cooking oil over medium heat.
  • Every time a chromosome replicates itself, its telomeres shorten in length.
  • Following on from that I began to shorten the overdubs to the point where the music became responsible for itself.
  • There they gather short, or editor-shortened, letters in which correspondents with opposing views slug away at each other on a topic selected by the editor.
  • As I kept pointing out on CH4 course bookmakers just kept shortening up odds without lengthening others. The Sun
  • It can be used routinely to select the appropriate cases to undergo MRCP, which could obviously reduce the hospitalization costs and shorten the hospitalization time.
  • The Swahili term of respect for a woman is Bibi (pronounced beebee and sometimes shortened to bi (bee)). N.D.Y., cats and the name game.
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