Etymology
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abridgement (n.)
early 15c., abreggement, "act of making shorter," also, of writing, "that which has been shortened," from Old French abregement, abrigement "shortening, abbreviation," from abregier "shorten, diminish" (see abridge). Verbal noun abridging is attested from late 14c. (abregging).
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contracture (n.)

"contraction," especially of the muscles, 1650s, from French contracture, from Latin contractura "a drawing together," from contract-, past-participle stem of contrahere "to draw several objects together; draw in, shorten, lessen, abridge," metaphorically "make a bargain, make an agreement" (see contract (n.)). Related: Contractural.

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met (v.)
past tense and past participle of meet (v.). Old English long vowels tended to shorten before many consonant clusters. Hence meet/met (earlier mette), five/fifteen, house/husband, break/breakfast.
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sheep-shank (n.)
also sheepshank, 1670s, "leg of a sheep," from sheep + shank (n.). A type of something lank, slender, or weak. Attested earlier in transferred sense of "type of sailor's knot used to shorten a rope without cutting it" (1620s).
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retrench (v.2)

"cut off, cut down, pare away" (expenses, etc.), 1620s, from obsolete French retrencher "to cut off, lessen, shorten" (Modern French retrancher, Old French retrenchier), from re- "back" (see re-) + Old French trenchier "to cut" (see trench). Especially "reduce (expenses) by economy" (1709). Related: Retrenched; retrenching.

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bramble (n.)
Old English bræmbel "rough, prickly shrub" (especially the blackberry bush), with euphonic -b- (which then caused the vowel to shorten), from earlier bræmel, from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz (see broom). Related: Brambleberry "blackberry" (late Old English).
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breviary (n.)
1540s, "brief statement;" 1610s, "short prayer book used by Catholic priests;" from Latin breviarium "summary," noun use of neuter of adjective breviarius "abridged," from breviare "to shorten, abbreviate," from brevis "short" (from PIE root *mregh-u- "short").
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abbreviation (n.)
Origin and meaning of abbreviation

early 15c., abbreviacioun, "shortness; act of shortening; a shortened thing," from Old French abréviation (15c.) and directly from Late Latin abbreviationem (nominative abbreviatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of abbreviare "shorten, make brief," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + breviare "shorten," from brevis "short, low, little, shallow" (from PIE root *mregh-u- "short").

From 1580s specifically of words. Technically a part of a word, usually the initial letter or syllable, used for the whole word but with no indication of the rest of the word (as abbr. for abbreviation or abbreviate). A contraction is made by elision of certain letters or syllables from the body of a word but still indicates its full form (as fwd. for forward; rec'd. for received).

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syncopation (n.)
1530s, "contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds," from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) "a shortening or contraction," from past participle stem of syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.
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precision (n.)

1630s, "a cutting off (mentally), abstraction, freedom from inessential elements," from French précision (16c.) and directly from Latin praecisionem (nominative praecisio) "a cutting off," in Medieval Latin "precision," noun of action from past-participle stem of praecidere "to cut off, shorten," from prae "before" (see pre-) + -cidere, combining form of caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). Meaning "quality or state of being precise" is from 1740.

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