curtail (v.)

late 15c., from Middle French courtault "made short," from court "short" (Old French cort, from Latin curtus, from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut") + -ault pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. Originally curtal; used of horses with docked tails, which probably influenced the spelling in general use; curtal is retained in poetics to describe a "shortened" stanza or poem. Related: Curtailed; curtailing.