Definition of abridge in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈbrɪdʒ/


[with object]
1 (often as adjective abridged) Shorten (a book, film, speech, etc.) without losing the sense: an abridged text of his speech
More example sentences
  • To make things worse, commercially available audio books are usually abridged and twice as expensive as the print version.
  • The magic of the original isn't dulled in this carefully abridged volume of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway award.
  • To begin with, the new publishers were content to reprint and to produce abridged volumes.
shorten, cut, cut short/down, curtail, truncate, lessen, trim, crop, clip, pare down, prune;
abbreviate, condense, contract, compress, reduce, decrease, diminish, shrink;
summarize, give a summary of, sum up, abstract, give an abstract of, precis, give a precis of, synopsize, give a synopsis of, digest, give a digest of, outline, give an outline of, sketch, put in a nutshell, edit
rare epitomize
shortened, cut, cut short, cut down, concise, condensed, contracted, compressed, abbreviated, reduced, decreased, diminished, shrunk, curtailed, truncated, lessened, trimmed, cropped, clipped, pruned, pared down, stripped down, bare-bones, skeleton;
summarized, summary, abstracted, precised, synoptic, synopsized, digest, outline, thumbnail, sketch, edited, essential;
censored, bowdlerized, expurgated
informal potted
2 Law Curtail (a right or privilege): even the right to free speech can be abridged
More example sentences
  • No state could abridge those privileges or immunities, or deny any person due process or the equal protection of the law.
  • The evidence clearly shows that the city's police powers are not abridged in any manner and that the agreement is expressly subject to the remedies available to the city under the Omaha Municipal Code.
  • I have the right to free speech, for example, and you can ask me to apologize for anything I say that offends you, and that request would have no bearing on whether my freedom of speech was being abridged.



Example sentences
  • Even more profoundly than that, it presents a case which illustrates the radical idea that, contrary to a rarely articulated tenet of Western philosophy, there are aspects of our minds and souls which are not abridgeable with will power.


Example sentences
  • For a host of less well-known Scottish actors, and for the abridgers, including the writers of this article, Storyline has been an important source of work and income.
  • The BBC say that this will be done ‘with our usual sensitivity’ by ‘highly experienced abridgers’.
  • Sherburn's estimation of the capacities of youth was generous in comparison; this more aggressive abridger turned the nineteen volumes of Richardson's three novels into a 232-page duodecimo.


Middle English (in the sense 'deprive of'): from Old French abregier, from late Latin abbreviare 'cut short' (see abbreviate).

Words that rhyme with abridge

bridge, fridge, midge, ridge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: abridge

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.