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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 spoken. [1913 Webster] It is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) To reduce to lower terms, as a fraction. [1913 Webster]