abol·ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish \
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 \-li-shə-bəl \ adjective
abolisher noun
abolishment \-mənt \ 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

Congress didn’t abolish it, but merely took away its funding. Clive Thompson, WIRED, "Why Congress Needs to Revive Its Tech Support Team," 13 July 2018 As a progressive, Serrano has introduced bills to improve public housing and recently joined the call to abolish Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Meagan Fredette, Teen Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won New York's 15th District Reform Party Primary Even Though She Wasn't Running," 11 July 2018 Right now, the call to abolish ICE is more hashtag than serious proposal. Margo Schlanger, Washington Post, "You’ve heard the calls to #AbolishICE. Here’s what that could mean.," 9 July 2018 Meanwhile, the President ripping Democrats again over their continued call to abolish ICE. Fox News, "Trump eyes even higher tariffs as China trade war escalates," 7 July 2018 While the call to abolish ICE is not new, a growing number of progressives are calling for an end to — or at least a serious reexamination of — the agency responsible for arresting and detaining immigrants. refinery29.com, "Cynthia Nixon: "If Mike Pence Is Attacking Me, I'm Doing Something Right"," 6 July 2018 My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment. Charles Cameron, Vox, "The litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee," 5 July 2018 Image The call to abolish ICE remains a largely rhetorical, activist position with questionable feasibility. New York Times, "How ‘Abolish ICE’ Went From Social Media to Progressive Candidates’ Rallying Cry," 29 June 2018 What Americans think: There have not been reliable polls on the call to abolish ICE. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Here's What Americans Think of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Most Provocative Ideas," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for abolish

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for abolish

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

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More Definitions for abolish


abol·ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish \
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

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Comments on abolish

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


to make amends

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