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 The trial shattered viewership records for both courtroom streaming services, and showed that public interest in the intersection of fame and courtroom drama has not abated. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 While the pace of their price increases has abated, difficulties in sourcing auto parts, plus the loss of experienced technicians, have pushed vehicle prices higher. Rob Wile, NBC News, 10 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for abate 

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 22 Apr. 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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