1. To make short or shorter in measure, extent, or time; as, to shorten distance; to shorten a road; to shorten days of calamity.
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. (Dryden)
4. To make short or friable, as pastry, with butter, lard, pot liquor, or the like. To shorten a rope, to reduce sail by taking it in.
Origin: See Short.