Why was clemency trending last week?


[shawr-tn] /ˈʃɔr tn/
verb (used with object)
to make short or shorter.
to reduce, decrease, take in, etc.:
to shorten sail.
to make (pastry, bread, etc.) short, as with butter or other fat.
Sports. choke (def 8).
verb (used without object)
to become short or shorter.
(of odds) to decrease.
Origin of shorten
1505-15; short + -en1
Related forms
shortener, noun
overshorten, verb
preshorten, verb (used with object)
reshorten, verb
undershorten, verb (used with object)
unshorten, adjective
1. condense, lessen, limit, restrict. Shorten, abbreviate, abridge, curtail mean to make shorter or briefer. Shorten is a general word meaning to make less in extent or duration: to shorten a dress, a prisoner's sentence. The other three terms suggest methods of shortening. To abbreviate is to make shorter by omission or contraction: to abbreviate a word. To abridge is to reduce in length or size by condensing, summarizing, and the like: to abridge a document. Curtail suggests deprivation and lack of completeness because of omitting some part: to curtail an explanation. 5. contract, lessen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shorten
  • Court granting, a motion to shorten time for notice and hearing.
  • Increasing the number of speeding electrons would drastically shorten the lifetime of a typical satellite, the team calculates.
  • As days shorten, lengthening shadows seem to swallow every thing north of walls and trees.
  • shorten long shoots by a third to a half, and remove any crossing branches.
  • Incorrect installation can also shorten the life span of an appliance.
  • The translucence doesn't harm the goldfish or shorten its life span, he added.
  • As telomeres shorten each time a cell divides, the process contributes to cell aging.
  • One way to shorten the refractory period is to be aware of what triggers our various emotions.
  • If your master's thesis is good, you should shorten it and submit it as an article somewhere so it counts.
  • Job sharing goads employers to hire by offering them a pile of cash if they shorten the work week.
British Dictionary definitions for shorten


to make or become short or shorter
(transitive) (nautical) to reduce the area of (sail)
(transitive) to make (pastry, bread, etc) short, by adding butter or another fat
(gambling) to cause (the odds) to lessen or (of odds) to become less
Derived Forms
shortener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shorten

1510s, "make shorter;" 1560s, "grow shorter," from short (adj.) + -en (1); the earlier form of the verb was simply short, from Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," gescyrtan "to make short."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shorten in Technology

audio, compression
A form of lossless audio compression.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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