- to make short or shorter; reduce in length, amount, or extent
- to reef or furl (a sail) so that less canvas is exposed to the breeze
- to add shortening in making (pastry, etc.) for crispness or flakiness
The seamstress measured the hem to shorten the dress above the knee.
- An example of shorten is to cut off part of a rope.
- An example of shorten is to roll in a canvas sail to reudce the size of the sail.
- An example of shorten is to put shortening in cupcake batter.
verbshort·ened, short·en·ing, short·ens
- To make short or shorter.
- To reduce in force, efficacy, or intensity.
- To add shortening to (dough) so as to make flaky.
- Nautical To take in (a sail, sails, or part of a sail) so that less canvas is exposed to the wind, thereby reducing speed: shortened sail in advance of the storm.
(third-person singular simple present shortens, present participle shortening, simple past and past participle shortened)
From short +"Ž -en.