In copyright law: to epitomize; to reduce; to contract. It implies preserving the substance, the essence, of a work, in language suited to such a purpose. In making extracts, there is no condensation of the author's language, and hence no abridgement. To abridge requires the exercise of the mind; it is not copying. Between a compilation and an abridgment there is a clear distinction. A compilation consists of selected extracts from different authors; an abridgment is is a condensation of the views of one author.

A*bridge" (#), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Abridged (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Abridging.] [OE. abregen, OF. abregier, F. abr'eger, fr. L. abbreviare; ad + brevis short. See Brief and cf. Abbreviate.]

1.

To make shorter; to shorten in duration; to lessen; to diminish; to curtail; as, to abridge labor; to abridge power or rights.

"The bridegroom . . . abridged his visit."

Smollett.

She retired herself to Sebaste, and abridged her train from state to necessity. Fuller.

2.

To shorten or contract by using fewer words, yet retaining the sense; to epitomize; to condense; as, to abridge a history or dictionary.

3.

To deprive; to cut off; -- followed by of, and formerly by from; as, to abridge one of his rights.

 

© Webster 1913.

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