\ ə-ˈbend How to pronounce abend (audio) , ˈab-ˌend \
plural abends

Definition of abend

: the unexpected failure of a piece of computer software As the average network administrator sleeps, nightmares of hardware failures and server abends compete for time against sweet dreams of what some technicians call nirvana, and others call a pipe dream—finding a network operating system that they can call secure.— Kevin Novak, Network Computing, 16 Oct. 2000

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of abend

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abend

abnormal end

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abend

Time Traveler for abend

Time Traveler

The first known use of abend was in 1974

See more words from the same year

Statistics for abend

Cite this Entry

“Abend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abend. Accessed 12 December 2019.

Comments on abend

What made you want to look up abend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!