to bring forth a fetus from the uterus before the fetus is viable; miscarry.
to develop incompletely; remain in a rudimentary or undeveloped state.
to fail, cease, or stop at an early or premature stage.
Military. to fail to accomplish a purpose or mission for any reason other than enemy action.
Rocketry. (of a missile) to stop before the scheduled flight is completed.
to cause to bring forth (a fetus) from the uterus before the fetus is viable.
to cause (a pregnant female) to be delivered of a nonviable fetus.
to cause to cease or end at an early or premature stage:
We aborted our vacation when the car broke down.
to terminate (a missile flight, mission, etc.) before completion.
to put down or quell in the early stages:
Troops aborted the uprising.
a missile, rocket, etc., that has aborted.
Contemporary Examples

Ditto Paterson—who was forced to abort his election campaign over the controversy.
The Scandal Guru Lloyd Grove March 10, 2010

They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.
What Cliven Bundy’s Famous Backers Said, Before and After Olivia Nuzzi April 24, 2014

Well, Sarah Palin is travelling across the country alerting people that “angry atheists” want to “abort Christ from Christmas.”
It’s Conservatives Who Really Want Christ Out of Christmas Dean Obeidallah December 16, 2013

Ellen makes her choice, and she throws herself down the stairs to abort the baby.
Why Deny the Obvious: Hollywood’s Backward Stance on Abortion Teo Bugbee June 9, 2014

Stand with the pink-sneakered Texas legislator and her fight to allow mothers to abort babies past the 20th week of pregnancy?
Kirsten Powers: I Don’t Stand With Wendy Davis Kirsten Powers July 1, 2013

Historical Examples

Cows during the first two or three months of gestation are almost sure to abort.
Barium, A Cause of the Loco-Weed Disease Albert Cornelius Crawford

And if I am to endure it much longer, I shall have to abort.
The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century Leo Wiener

The does should be protected from cold storms or rough handling when they are heavy with kid, else they are liable to abort.
Practical Angora Goat Raising C. P. Bailey

It was on that train I learned my first German word “abort” meaning bathroom.
The Biography of a Rabbit Roy Benson

This mat is abort four feet square, and when folded has one end sewn up, so that it forms a kind of sack open at one side.
The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russell Wallace

to undergo or cause (a woman) to undergo the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is viable
(transitive) to cause (a fetus) to be expelled from the womb before it is viable
(intransitive) to fail to come to completion; go wrong
(transitive) to stop the development of; cause to be abandoned
(intransitive) to give birth to a dead or nonviable fetus
(of a space flight, military operation, etc) to fail or terminate prematurely
(intransitive) (of an organism or part of an organism) to fail to develop into the mature form
the premature termination or failure of (a space flight, military operation, etc)

1570s, “to miscarry,” from Latin abortus, past participle of aboriri “to miscarry” (see abortive); 1610s as “to deliberately terminate” anything, but especially a pregnancy, which seems to be the literal sense. Transitive meaning “to cause a woman to miscarry” is recorded from 1933. Related: Aborted; aborting.

abort a·bort (ə-bôrt’)
v. a·bort·ed, a·bort·ing, a·borts

To expel or cause to expel an embryo or fetus before it is viable.

To arrest a disease in its earliest stages.

To arrest in growth or development; to cause to remain rudimentary.

To terminate a program or process abnormally and usually suddenly, with or without diagnostic information. “My program aborted”, “I aborted the transmission”. The noun form in computing is “abort”, not “abortion”, e.g. “We’ve had three aborts over the last two days”.
If a Unix kernel aborts it is known as a panic.


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    abortient abortient a·bor·tient (ə-bôr’shənt) adj. Abortifacient.

  • Abortifacient

    causing . a drug or device used to cause : a biochemical abortifacient in pill form. Contemporary Examples But medical science is clear: emergency contraception is not an abortifacient. Is Forced Religious Belief Coming to an Employer Near You? Jamelle Bouie November 26, 2013 Historical Examples It is sometimes taken as an abortifacient or given […]

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