shorten Definition

  • 1make or become shorter in length or duration
  • 2reduce the length of (a piece of writing) by condensing or rewriting it

Using shorten: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "shorten" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I need to shorten my skirt before the party tonight.

  • Example

    The teacher asked me to shorten my essay to two pages.

  • Example

    The company decided to shorten the workweek to four days.

  • Example

    The movie was shortened by 20 minutes for the TV version.

shorten Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for shorten

Phrases with shorten

  • to take smaller steps while walking or running


    He had to shorten his stride to keep up with his young daughter.

  • shorten the odds

    to make something more likely to happen


    The new policy will help to shorten the odds of success for small businesses.

  • shorten someone's fuse

    to cause someone to become more easily angered or irritated


    The constant noise from the construction site has shortened my fuse lately.


Summary: shorten in Brief

To 'shorten' [ˈʃɔːtn] means to reduce the length or duration of something, such as a piece of writing or a workweek. It can also refer to making something physically shorter, like a skirt. Phrases like 'shorten one's stride' and 'shorten the odds' extend the meaning to taking smaller steps or making something more likely to happen. 'Shorten' is often used formally, as in 'The report needs to be shortened,' but can also be used informally, as in 'Can you cut down this article?'

How do native speakers use this expression?