Shorten \Short"en\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shortened ?; p. pr. &
vb. n. Shortening.] [See Short, a.]
1. To make short or shorter in measure, extent, or time; as,
to shorten distance; to shorten a road; to shorten days of
2. To reduce or diminish in amount, quantity, or extent; to
lessen; to abridge; to curtail; to contract; as, to
shorten work, an allowance of food, etc.
Here, where the subject is so fruitful, I am
shortened by my chain. --Dryden.
3. To make deficient (as to); to deprive; -- with of.
Spoiled of his nose, and shortened of his ears.
4. To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard,
pot liquor, or the like.
To shorten a rope (Naut.), to take in the slack of it.
To shorten sail (Naut.), to reduce sail by taking it in.