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 sense 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
abater noun
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of abate in a Sentence

For a while, in the Cold War's aftermath, the public fascination for espionage may abate, though somehow I doubt it. John le Carré, Boston Globe, 19 Nov. 1989
At about six, as the heat abated, people began to crowd the streets and marketplaces, and to fill the cafés. Milton Viorst, New Yorker, 12 Oct. 1987
But his attitude of sullen grievance and simmering fury never abated fully. Joseph Heller, God Knows, 1984
We waited for the wind to abate. interest in the author's home abated as her novels waned in popularity
Recent Examples on the Web But the cramps in her stomach, the fatigue and depression – all easily explained away – never abated for long. David Oliver, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2024 The negativity among those seeking to participate in Replicator will abate if more clarity is offered and acquisition decisions are made expeditiously and publicly Magy believes. Eric Tegler, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The lawsuit seeks to have the companies’ conduct declared a public nuisance to be abated, as well as unspecified monetary damages. Carolyn Thompson, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 And yet, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Discord, Salesforce and eBay all made significant cuts in January, and the layoffs don’t seem to be abating. Caroline O'Donovan, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024 After the smoke abated, the TV footage showed a large hole left behind. Angie Dimichele, Sun Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2024 When the virus began to abate and interest in global travel began to surge again in 2021 and 2022, so did the applications for new passports. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Dec. 2023 Hansen said there’s no reason to believe the growth of charter schools will abate anytime soon. Silas Allen, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 Feb. 2024 The propellant leak abated, and engineers wrestled control of the spacecraft to point its solar arrays toward the Sun, allowing its battery to recharge. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 22 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of abate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near abate

Cite this Entry

“Abate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abate. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

abate

verb
abated; abating
: to make or become less
the wind abated
abated their prices
abater noun

Legal Definition

abate

verb
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 abateFederal 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.

Etymology

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

More from Merriam-Webster on abate

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