abol·​ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish How to pronounce abolish (audio) \
abolished; abolishing; abolishes

Definition of abolish

transitive verb

: to end the observance or effect of (something, such as a law) : to completely do away with (something) : annul abolish a law abolish slavery

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Other Words from abolish

abolishable \ ə-​ˈbä-​li-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce abolishable (audio) \ adjective
abolisher noun
abolishment \ ə-​ˈbä-​lish-​mənt How to pronounce abolishment (audio) \ noun

Examples of abolish in a Sentence

He is in favor of abolishing the death penalty. the U.S. abolished slavery by constitutional amendment on December 6, 1865
Recent Examples on the Web Beyond that, the protesters say the confessional system should be abolished to accommodate a younger generation that has no memories of the civil war and has broken away from religious affiliations. Dana Khraiche | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Why Lebanon Protesters Target Religion-Based Politics," 21 Nov. 2019 Business didn’t go away; it wasn’t abolished; capitalists didn’t go into gulags. Anand Giridharadas, Time, "How America’s Elites Lost Their Grip," 21 Nov. 2019 Set in England in 1965, Hangmen explores what Britain’s (second most) famous executioner will do now that hanging has been abolished. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Martin McDonagh’s award-winning play Hangmen heading to Broadway," 18 Nov. 2019 Some believe the rebels wanted to seize all of Orleans Territory, which includes present-day New Orleans, and establish a state where human bondage was abolished. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "With a Slave Rebellion Re-enactment, an Artist Revives Forgotten History," 9 Nov. 2019 To supporters of reparations, the idea that slavery's impacts are not widely felt some 150 years after it was abolished is a pervasive myth. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Nearly 75% of African Americans support reparations for slavery. Only 15% of white Americans do, a poll says," 28 Oct. 2019 Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida’s top leader, tried to end the squabbling and ordered al-Baghdadi’s group to be abolished. Zeina Karam, Twin Cities, "Islamic State leader leaves a legacy of terror," 27 Oct. 2019 Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida's top leader, tried to end the squabbling and ordered al-Baghdadi's group to be abolished. Author: Adam Schreck And Zeina Karam, Anchorage Daily News, "Islamic State leader leaves a legacy of terror," 27 Oct. 2019 Goucher College was founded in 1885 — about 20 years after slavery was abolished in the United States — as Woman’s College of Baltimore City. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Goucher College to remove racist language in land deed, recognize slavery’s legacy on campus," 17 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of abolish

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abolish

Middle English abolysshen, borrowed from Middle French aboliss-, stem of abolir "to abolish," borrowed from Latin abolēre "to destroy, efface, put an end to," perhaps formed from abolēscere "to shrivel up, be effaced, fall into disuse," from ab- ab- + -ol-, medial form of the base of alere "to nourish, bring up" + -ēsc-, inchoative suffix — more at old entry 1

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Time Traveler for abolish

Time Traveler

The first known use of abolish was in the 15th century

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Statistics for abolish

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abolish.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolish?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=abolis01. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for abolish


abol·​ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish How to pronounce abolish (audio) \
abolished; abolishing

Kids Definition of abolish

: to do away with : put an end to abolish discrimination

Legal Definition of abolish

: to end the observance or effect of : annul

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More from Merriam-Webster on abolish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abolish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abolish

Spanish Central: Translation of abolish

Nglish: Translation of abolish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abolish for Arabic Speakers

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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