The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Abbreviate \Ab*bre"vi*ate\ ([a^]b*br[=e]"v[i^]*[=a]t), v. t.
[imp. & p. p. Abbreviated; p. pr. & vb. n. Abbreviating.]
[L. abbreviatus, p. p. of abbreviare; ad + breviare to
shorten, fr. brevis short. See Abridge.]
1. To make briefer; to shorten; to abridge; to reduce by
contraction or omission, especially of words written or
It is one thing to abbreviate by contracting,
another by cutting off. --Bacon.
2. (Math.) To reduce to lower terms, as a fraction.