So the editor wants to cut your epic 800-page history of the stapler to a 150-page summary instead. Don't cry — he just wants to abridge your masterpiece, trimming it down to the more readable essential elements.

Synonymous with abbreviate, condense and cut short, abridge comes from the Latin word abreviare, which means "to shorten." Although it's usually used in reference to wordy texts, one can also abridge or shorten a piece of clothing; a miniskirt is just an abridged version of the old floor length hoop skirt, for example. But abridging something isn't always good: If your civil rights are abridged, they've been lessened in some way.

Definitions of abridge
  1. verb
    lessen, diminish, or curtail
    “the new law might abridge our freedom of expression”
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    type of:
    curb, curtail, cut back, restrict
    place restrictions on
  2. verb
    reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
    synonyms: abbreviate, contract, cut, foreshorten, reduce, shorten
    cut, edit, edit out
    cut and assemble the components of
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    dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
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    bowdlerise, bowdlerize, castrate, expurgate, shorten
    edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
    concentrate, condense, digest
    make more concise
    capsule, capsulise, capsulize, encapsulate
    put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume
    make smaller or shorter
    type of:
    decrease, lessen, minify
    make smaller
Word Family

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