January 02, 2017
- abbreviate (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to make briefer : shorten; especially : to reduce (as a word) to a shorter form intended to stand for the whole
- How do you use it?
- When writing the message she wanted to include with the gift she ordered online, Lydia abbreviated several words so she wouldn't exceed the character limit.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think is related to "abbreviate"?In brief, the correct answer is B. "Abbreviate" and "abridge" both mean "to make shorter," so it probably will come as no surprise that both derive from the Latin verb "brevis," meaning "short." "Abbreviate" first appeared in print in English in the 15th century. It comes from Latin "abbreviatus," a form of "abbreviare," which in turn can be traced back to "brevis." "Abridge," which appeared a century earlier, also comes from "abbreviare," arriving in English via Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England). Another relative you should briefly note: "brevis" is also the ancestor of the English word "brief."