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 Neither of the calls seems particularly realistic, but this is hardly the first time that there has been such a call to abolish the ATF and moreover to repeal the NFA. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 Early data from the election indicated that absentee ballots were disproportionately used by Democratic voters, but this was not true of the electronic voting machines that Lindell hoped to abolish. New York Times, 19 July 2022 For Ashwin Sandanakrishnan, an aircraft design engineer from Colombo, the new government should move quickly to abolish the executive presidency and return power to Parliament, so that one person cannot decide the future of the country. Munza Mushtaq, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2022 Kaul's predecessor, Republican Brad Schimel, led 20 Republican AGs in a 2018 effort to abolish Obamacare. Isaac Yu, Journal Sentinel, 14 July 2022 But really there ought to be a statewide move to abolish private police departments. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 July 2022 Wayne Ho, chief executive of Chinese-American Planning Council, said the agency has for years advocated to abolish the 24-hour shift but has no power to do so itself. Claire Wang, NBC News, 27 June 2022 His campaigning with several other legal scholars pushed the Chinese government to abolish a notorious system in which rural migrants were arbitrarily detained, fined and expelled by police in big cities. Cnn Staff, CNN, 22 June 2022 An attempt to abolish the agency that lobbies on behalf of Southern Baptists in Washington failed. Frank E. Lockwood, Arkansas Online, 16 June 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

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abolish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolish. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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