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.]


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."


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


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


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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