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 As for the handful of states that did away with the insanity defense, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Oct. 7 in Kahler v. Kansas, in which a death-row inmate asserts that abolishing the defense was unconstitutional. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, "Here’s how the insanity defense works," 4 Sep. 2019 Alabama lawmakers responded by passing a law that abolished the wage increase. John Blake, CNN, "The Fight for $15 takes on the 'Jim Crow economy'," 13 Apr. 2018 The moves come as Erdogan, in power for 15 years, prepares to cement his control with elections next year that will abolish the post of prime minister and codify what is essentially one-man rule. Bloomberg.com, "Forget Facebook: Turkey Is Moving to Control All Content," 31 Mar. 2018 The second case was McDonald being part of the majority as the state Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in 2015 that effectively abolished the state’s death penalty. Dave Collins, The Seattle Times, "Critics, supporters of chief justice nominee rally bases," 25 Feb. 2018 While Warren adamantly made the case to abolish the procedure in Congress, Sanders and Biden reject the move. Tovin Lapan, Fortune, "Elizabeth Warren Captains Steady Ascent Into Third Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 In a statement, Pan wrote: As the latest measles outbreak threatens the country’s elimination status, California acted to keep children safe at school by abolishing non-medical exemptions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Revised CA vaccine bill would revoke exemptions from infamous anti-vax doc [Updated]," 9 Sep. 2019 Artist and activist Lili Bernard, one of the public accusers against actor Bill Cosby, recounted her experience as a survivor of child abuse and rape, and as an activist to help abolish the statute of limitations on rape prosecution in California. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Parkland shooting survivors share songs of hope," 8 Sep. 2019 What’s driving automakers: President Trump wants to abolish the strict environmental standards the Obama administration placed on automakers. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Just in time for Labor Day, why ‘uncured’ deli meats aren’t as safe as you thought," 2 Sep. 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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Statistics for abolish

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

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 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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a calculated move

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