abate

verb \ ə-ˈbāt \
Updated on: 5 Dec 2017

Definition of abate

abated; abating
intransitive verb
1 : to decrease in force or intensity
  • waiting for the storm to abate
2 a : to become defeated or become null or void (as of a writ or appeal)
b : to decrease in amount or value
  • The legacies abated proportionately.
transitive verb
1 a : to put an end to
  • abate a nuisance
b : nullify 1
  • abate a writ
2 a : to reduce in degree or intensity : moderate
  • may abate their rancor to win peace
b : to reduce in value or amount : to make less especially by way of relief
  • abate a tax
3 : deduct, omit
  • abate part of the price
4 a : to beat down or cut away so as to leave a figure in relief
b obsolete : blunt
5 : deprive 2

abater

noun

Examples of abate in a Sentence

  1. For a while, in the Cold War's aftermath, the public fascination for espionage may abate, though somehow I doubt it. —John le CarréBoston Globe19 Nov. 1989
  2. At about six, as the heat abated, people began to crowd the streets and marketplaces, and to fill the cafés. —Milton ViorstNew Yorker12 Oct. 1987
  3. But his attitude of sullen grievance and simmering fury never abated fully. —Joseph HellerGod Knows1984
  4. We waited for the wind to abate.

  5. interest in the author's home abated as her novels waned in popularity

Recent Examples of abate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of abate

Middle English abaten, borrowed from Anglo-French abatre "to strike down, fell, reduce, put an end to," from a-, prefix in transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + batre "to beat," going back to Latin battuere, of uncertain origin

Synonym Discussion of abate

abate, subside, wane, ebb mean to die down in force or intensity. abate stresses the idea of progressive diminishing.
    • the storm abated
subside implies the ceasing of turbulence or agitation.
    • the protests subsided after a few days
wane suggests the fading or weakening of something good or impressive.
    • waning enthusiasm
ebb suggests the receding of something (such as the tide) that commonly comes and goes.
    • the ebbing of daylight

synonyms see in addition decrease


ABATE Defined for English Language Learners

abate

verb

Definition of abate for English Language Learners

  • : to become weaker : to decrease in strength


ABATE Defined for Kids

abate

verb \ ə-ˈbāt \

Definition of abate for Students

abated; abating
: to make or become less
  • The flood abated slowly.

abatement

\-mənt\ noun
  • The noise continued without abatement.

Law Dictionary

abate

verb \ ə-ˈbāt \

legal Definition of abate

abated; abating
transitive verb
1 a : to put an end to or do away with
  • abate a nuisance
b : to make void : nullify
  • abate an action
2 : to reduce in amount especially proportionately
  • abate a tax
intransitive verb
1 : to become defeated or become null or void
  • when a public officer who is a party to an appeal…in an official capacity dies…the action does not abate
  • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 43
2 : to decrease in amount or value
  • the legacies abated proportionately
Note: A problem arises in estate law when the amount of the bequests and devises made in a will exceeds the assets available in the estate. In such a case, some or all of the bequests and devises may have to be abated to make up the deficit. Under the Uniform Probate Code, property in the estate that is not given under the will abates first, residuary devises abate second, general devises abate third, and specific devises abate last.

Origin and Etymology of abate

Old French abattre, literally, to knock down, from a-, prefix stressing result + battre to beat



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