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shortening

[shawrt-ning, shawr-tn-ing] /ˈʃɔrt nɪŋ, ˈʃɔr tn ɪŋ/
noun
1.
butter, lard, or other fat, used to make pastry, bread, etc., short.
2.
Phonetics. the act, process, or an instance of making or becoming short.
3.
Linguistics.
  1. the act or process of dropping one or more syllables from a word or phrase to form a shorter word with the same meaning, as in forming piano from pianoforte or phone from telephone.
  2. clipped form.
Origin of shortening
1535-1545
1535-45; shorten + -ing1

shorten

[shawr-tn] /ˈʃɔr tn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make short or shorter.
2.
to reduce, decrease, take in, etc.:
to shorten sail.
3.
to make (pastry, bread, etc.) short, as with butter or other fat.
4.
Sports. choke (def 8).
verb (used without object)
5.
to become short or shorter.
6.
(of odds) to decrease.
Origin
1505-15; short + -en1
Related forms
shortener, noun
overshorten, verb
preshorten, verb (used with object)
reshorten, verb
undershorten, verb (used with object)
unshorten, adjective
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for shortening

shortening

/ˈʃɔːtənɪŋ/
noun
1.
butter, lard, or other fat, used in a dough, cake mixture, etc, to make the mixture short

shorten

/ˈʃɔːtən/
verb
1.
to make or become short or shorter
2.
(transitive) (nautical) to reduce the area of (sail)
3.
(transitive) to make (pastry, bread, etc) short, by adding butter or another fat
4.
(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
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Word Origin and History for shortening
n.

1540s, "action of making short," verbal noun from shorten. Meaning "butter or other fat used in baking" (1796) is from shorten in the sense "make crumbly" (1733), from short (adj.) in the secondary sense of "easily crumbled" (early 15c.), which perhaps arose via the notion of "having short fibers." This is the short in shortbread and shortcake.

shorten

v.

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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Word Value for shortening

14
16
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