Meaning of “abbreviate” in the English Dictionary

"abbreviate" in British English

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abbreviateverb [ T usually passive ]

uk /əˈbriː.vi.eɪt/ us /əˈbriː.vi.eɪt/

to make a word or phrase shorter by using only the first letters of each word:

"Daniel" is often abbreviated to "Dan".
"Chief Executive Officer" is abbreviated as "CEO".

More examples

  • There is a list of abbreviations near the beginning of the book.
  • What does the abbreviation WHO stand for?
  • Please use the abbreviation 'cm' for 'centimetres', without any full stop after it.
  • Sorry - could you explain what some of these abbreviations mean in your letter?
  • We generally use the abbreviation 'MP' instead of writing out 'Member of Parliament' in full.
adjective uk /əˈbriː.vi.eɪ.tɪd/ us /əˈbriː.vi.eɪ.t̬ɪd/

"Di" is the abbreviated form of "Diane".

(Definition of “abbreviate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"abbreviate" in American English

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abbreviateverb [ T ]

us /əˈbri·viˌeɪt/

to shorten a word or words, or to make something shorter:

We had to abbreviate the names of the states.
adjective [ not gradable ] us /əˈbri·viˌeɪ·t̬ɪd/

An abbreviated version was published last year.

(Definition of “abbreviate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)