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

Other Words from abolish

abolishable \ ə-​ˈbä-​li-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce abolish (audio) \ adjective
abolisher noun
abolishment \ ə-​ˈbä-​lish-​mənt How to pronounce abolish (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 Many noted that the reality star, who is often upheld as a symbol of society's embrace of curves following an era that celebrated pencil-thin bodies, was praising the very diet culture activists have attempted to abolish. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 4 May 2022 Though some restaurants have tried to abolish tipping, results have been mixed. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 4 May 2022 Politico on Monday published a draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito in February, indicating that the high court has initially voted to abolish Roe v. Wade entirely. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 3 May 2022 DeSantis signed legislation on Friday to abolish the Reedy Creek Improvement District on June 1, 2023. Skyler Swisher, Orlando Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 However, rather than additional F-16s, Cairo will more likely want to finally acquire F-15s, a procurement that would abolish its primary reasons for turning to Russia for advanced fighter jets in the first place. Paul Iddon, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 Carro, meanwhile, suggested that the only quick fix to Bayern’s hegemony would be to abolish the 50+1 rule that means Germany’s clubs must — with a handful of exceptions — be controlled by their fans. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 The Florida Legislature voted this week to abolish the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which in effect lets Disney World run its own private government. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2022 Yoon has proposed to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, which has become a flash point for the gender war. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abolish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolish. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of abolish

: to end the observance or effect of : annul

More from Merriam-Webster on abolish

Nglish: Translation of abolish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abolish for Arabic Speakers


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