ab·​o·​li·​tion | \ ˌa-bə-ˈli-shᵊn How to pronounce abolition (audio) \

Definition of abolition

1 : the act of officially ending or stopping something : the act of abolishing something abolition of the death penalty
2 : the act of officially ending slavery a proponent of abolition

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abolition

abolitionary \ ˌa-​bə-​ˈli-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce abolition (audio) , -​ˌne-​rē \ adjective

Examples of abolition in a Sentence

the abolition of a law calls for the abolition of the death penalty
Recent Examples on the Web The book hones in on ideas like prison abolition and racial disparities in healthcare. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 2 Apr. 2021 Organizers distributed a treatise calling for the abolition of police and the police union and the recall of Wheeler while listing some people killed in shootings by Portland police over the last two decades. oregonlive, 21 Mar. 2021 Biden's campaign platform included the abolition of the death penalty at the federal level and incentivizing states to do away with it as well. Dakin Andone, CNN, 10 Mar. 2021 In a time of calls for prison abolition and defunding police (who are often the first interveners during a mental-health crisis), the political education and healing justice philosophy used by Fireweed is essential for its community. Raquel Willis, Marie Claire, 10 Mar. 2021 After escaping slavery, Ford made several fortunes in mining, restaurants, barbershops, real estate and more, and was a tireless champion for abolition and civil rights. Brianne Garrett, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Officials said contributions may come from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. Donna Owens, Essence, 18 May 2021 The other 18 honorees — who have yet to be announced — will come from a wide variety of fields including abolition, suffrage and civil rights movements, as well as the humanities, science and the arts. Erica Davies, CBS News, 15 May 2021 Calls have been made across the country for police reform and even outright abolition of the force in wake of fatal shootings at the hands of police. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 10 May 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of abolition

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abolition

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French abolition, borrowed from Latin abolitiōn-, abolitiō, from aboli-, variant stem of abolēre "to abolish" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abolition

Time Traveler for abolition

Time Traveler

The first known use of abolition was in 1529

See more words from the same year

Statistics for abolition

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abolition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolition. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abolition


ab·​o·​li·​tion | \ ˌa-bə-ˈli-shən How to pronounce abolition (audio) \

Kids Definition of abolition

: a complete elimination of the abolition of war


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!