Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To shorten the lines of (an object) in a drawing or other representation so as to produce an illusion of projection or extension in space.
  • transitive v. To reduce the length of; curtail or abridge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To render the image of an object such that it appears to be receding in space as it is perceived visually.
  • v. to abridge, reduce, contract
  • v. to make shorter

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To represent on a plane surface, as if extended in a direction toward the spectator or nearly so; to shorten by drawing in perspective.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To represent pictorially to the imagination.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In perspective, to represent (a figure) in such a manner as to convey to the mind the impression of the entire length of the object, though only a part of this length is actually shown, as when the object is viewed in an oblique direction; represent (any object, as an arm, a weapon, the branch of a tree) as pointing more or less directly toward the spectator standing in front of the picture, or as in a plane more or less nearly parallel to the spectator's line of sight.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. shorten lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth
  • v. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

Etymologies

From fore- +‎ shorten (Wiktionary)
Alteration of for- + shorten ("to shorten up"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And instead of medical conditions that if untreated would likely foreshorten his life considerably, it was a medical condition that would likely produce death in relatively short order if untreated, e.g., serious cardiac arrhythmia predisposing to sudden death if not treated, maybe with a pacemaker?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Prisoners Retain Right to Refuse Medical Treatment

  • Profound depression and vegetative symptoms result from realizing nothing that individuals do matters and that there is no way to end, foreshorten or even know the duration of their suffering.

    OpEdNews - Diary: Letter to Senate on health effects of indefinite detention

  • Oh, yes, Speaker Pelosi, it was more important to foreshorten debate so that the "troops" could go home on recess than to more fully consider, and possibly fashion, an improved piece of legislation.

    When Partisanship Trumps We, the People

  • The salesman spent the few minutes alone alternately pushing his loose tooth around, watching his silk shirt stick to different parts of his upper body and straining to hear some Spanish words, coming from the other room, among the half-words, part-sentences adopted by a people who try to simplify and foreshorten everything in their lives, especially their language.

    Helping The Needy

  • Most photos of it are from underneath looking up, which foreshorten the image.

    Photo Contest Vote: Minerals - The Panda's Thumb

  • His left foot is on the ground, behind his right which is a little foreshorten because it's angled out towards us because he's swinging it wide to kick the ball. the only photoshop was to extract him from the background.

    Daily Mail: The Scraperboard Of Truth!

  • And you can go foreshorten yourself as much as you want, not a one of you naysayers could *ever* get a picture that looked like that from a real humanoid life form.

    J Brand: Cough

  • Hopefully the leader will not cut off the amendments or foreshorten our ability to offer amendments.

    CNN Transcript Nov 21, 2009

  • One moment now, if I foreshorten the bloss on your bleather.

    Finnegans Wake

  • American soldier's lives and foreshorten the conflict.

    Archive 2006-06-01

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