Etymology
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abridge (v.)
Origin and meaning of abridge

c. 1300, abreggen, "make shorter, shorten, condense," from Old French abregier, abrigier "abridge, diminish, shorten" (12c., Modern French abréger), from Late Latin abbreviare "make short," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + breviare "shorten," from brevis "short, low, little, shallow" (from PIE root *mregh-u- "short").

Abbreviate is the same word directly from Latin. The sound development that turned Latin -vi- to French -dg- is paralleled in assuage (from assuavidare) and deluge (from diluvium). Of writing, "shorten by omission," late 14c. Related: Abridged; abridging.

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unabridged (adj.)

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of abridge (v.). Since 19c. chiefly in reference to literary works.

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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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*mregh-u- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "short."

It forms all or part of: abbreviate; abbreviation; abridge; amphibrach; brace; bracelet; brachio-; brachiopod; brachiosaurus; brachy-; brassiere; breviary; brevity; brief; brumal; brume; embrace; merry; mirth; pretzel; vambrace.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek brakhys "short;" Latin brevis "short, low, little, shallow;" Old Church Slavonic bruzeja "shallow places, shoals;" Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten."

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epitomize (v.)

1590s, "shorten, condense, abridge," from epitome + -ize. Meaning "typify, embody" is from 1620s. Related: Epitomized; epitomizing; epitomizes.

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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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epitome (n.)

1520s, "an abstract; brief statement of the chief points of some writing," from French épitomé (16c.), from Latin epitome "an abridgment," from Greek epitome "an abridgment, a cutting on the surface; brief summary," from epitemnein "cut short, abridge," from epi "into" (see epi-) + temnein "to cut" (from PIE root *tem- "to cut"). Sense of "person or thing that typifies something" is first recorded c. 1600. Related: Epitomical.

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assuage (v.)

"to soften," usually figuratively, of pain, anger, passion, grief, etc., c. 1300, from Anglo-French assuager, Old French assoagier "soften, moderate, alleviate, calm, soothe, pacify," from Vulgar Latin *adsuaviare, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + suavis "sweet, agreeable" (from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant;" see sweet (adj.)). For sound development in French, compare deluge from Latin diluvium, abridge from abbreviare. Related: Assuaged; assuaging.

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contract (n.)

early 14c., "agreement between two or more persons to do or not do some particular thing," originally especially of marriage, from Old French contract (Modern French contrat), from Latin contractus "a drawing together, a shrinking; a contract, an agreement," from past participle of contrahere "to draw several objects together; draw in, shorten, lessen, abridge," metaphorically "make a bargain, make an agreement," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

In reference to the writing which contains the agreement and its terms and conditions, 1610s. U.S. underworld sense of "arrangement to kill someone" first recorded 1940.

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contractor (n.)

1540s, "one who enters into a contract," from Late Latin contractor "one who makes a contract," agent noun from past-participle stem of Latin contrahere "to draw several objects together; draw in, shorten, lessen, abridge," metaphorically "make a bargain, make an agreement," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

From 1680s as "a muscle which contracts a part." Specifically "one who enters into a contract to provide work, services, or goods at a certain price or rate" is from 1724.

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