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 abolishing of slavery a proponent of abolition

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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 Truth recruited soldiers for the Union during the Civil War and fought for abolition and civil rights. oregonlive, "Portland’s Wilson High School will be renamed after a history-making Black woman," 15 Dec. 2020 The Acorn Collective has three main focuses: education, police abolition and housing. Kaitlin Edquist, chicagotribune.com, "Glenbrook students, alumni call for new racial justice initiatives within schools: ‘Change is going to happen’," 23 Nov. 2020 Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who did not initially support emancipation or Black voting rights, was still regarded across the South as a staunch supporter of abolition and racial equality and as a puppet of men like Frederick Douglass. NBC News, "For Black pastors, calling out racism is standard. It's become a weapon for Warnock's opponent.," 14 Dec. 2020 Those same people are allowed to fight for abolition. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, "What Does Justice For Breonna Taylor Even Look Like Anymore?," 27 Sep. 2020 Among the possible culprits: the abolition of straight-ticket voting, which allowed voters to cast their ballots for a party’s entire slate at one stroke. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "‘We’ve had enough’ — Joe Biden outpaced President Donald Trump in key Bexar County Republican strongholds. But down-ballot Democrats didn’t benefit," 22 Dec. 2020 Although nearly half of state constitutions do not mention human bondage or prison labor as punishment, just over 20 states still include such clauses in governing documents that date back to the 19th century abolition of slavery. Aaron Morrison, USA TODAY, "US lawmakers unveil anti-slavery constitutional amendment," 3 Dec. 2020 Communists and radical members of Mossadegh’s party, the National Front, poured into the streets to call for the abolition of the monarchy, among other changes. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "‘Blame America First’ Crowd Resurrects an Old Myth," 3 Dec. 2020 The Debt Collective has long promoted a sweeping jubilee, a mass cancellation of debts, including but not limited to the abolition of all federal student debt. Astra Taylor, The New Yorker, "How the Biden Administration Can Free Americans from Student Debt," 23 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for abolition

Time Traveler

The first known use of abolition was in 1529

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Statistics for abolition

Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abolition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolition. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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

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